January 25th, 2002


Accidents, Computer Hell, Ballet Stuff and so on

You all need to know, since D mentioned it in his journal, that I was slightly stirred *and* shaken the other night when a motor cycle rammed my taxi-cab in the rain in the rush hour on the Shoreditch one-way system. No-one was hurt, but having a big hunk of metal hit the other side of even a three-inch thick car door from where you are sitting is pretty disturbing. I had to hang around for an hour making statements to the police - a police van had been peripherally involved in the collision so it was all a huge deal.

I felt sick and shaky for twenty four hours, but am OK now.

The other major problem of my life this week has been the (thankfully temporary) disappearance of Word Perfect's ability to copy texts into other formats - some small hook file in Windows had been corrupted and no-one knew what to do. Luckily the excellent Shutters came up with a solution from a website he'd browsed and we fixed it. After I had had a whole week of excuses for no diary and had had to write reviews, pull them into Lotus WordPro and then dump them into text from there, all fixed.

Much better.

Meanwhile, got to watch various episodes of Buffy and Angel, watched the bizarre Leni Riefenstahl Farscape full of Peacekeepers in more black leather than SM Pride, saw Eastenders suddenly go slash on me (Steve Owen playing the tenor-baritone duet from Don Carlos before searching out his new henchman) watched some Dawson's Creek to get a sense of the point of it.

And watched the 1989 Opera de Lyon production of Prokofiev's 'Cinderella' and discovered precisely where Joss et al got the doll-headed, toddler-movement demon dancers from in 'Once More With Feeling'. So there we are - yet another obscure cultural reference to log into the next edition of The Book.

A brief breaking of the icy block

I'm still blocked, I think. But this bubbled to the surface this evening. I was trying to channel Willow and I got Tara instead.

I don't know where this goes or anything.


Sometimes I hate them. All of them, except Dawn, of course.

I hate having to feel so much gratitude all the time. That isn't anything to do with them - it's my problem.

I was brought up to say please and thank you and to feel thanks in my heart. Every single meal I cooked back home on the farm, every chore I did that would otherwise have been left until things rotted or fell apart was done out of gratitude. Gratitude for being left alone.

There is a phrase people use 'thankful for small mercies' but people don't know what it means. Small mercies are your father not tearing up your schoolbooks if he finds something in them he thinks is against the Scripture; small mercies are your brother not telling if he catches you looking sidewise at a girl in church; small mercies are your cousin Beth not telling the other girls at school about the whippings father gives you once a week on the general principle that you must have done something.

Every day I got by without a beating, every day I was allowed to go to school, the fact that when I got full scholarship to a college across the country that father had never heard of he let me take it - these things were small mercies. And I was thankful and bowed my head and did my chores and said as little as possible.

No-one ever listened to a word I said, anyway.

I'm just not used to being grateful for real things - to people who hardly know me except as this strange quiet woman who has suddenly turned their friend strange too, yet stand up to my father and my brother as if they had known and despised them all their lives. How do you cope with a thing like that - with people just saying that they are your family now.

Even if eventually they turn out not to mean it.

They looked after me when my mind was in that place; they helped her spoon food into my mouth and took me with them when they ran from dange.