Sunday 11th August 2019

Dear Diary,

Thought it time to visit you and jot a few words. It’s been a while. Things have happened, like they do, most notably the passing of Shane’s dad. The old man wasn’t one of my favourite people, but his death has left a curious sadness in me, perhaps because in latter times we had come to a better understanding of each other. I won’t say we became friends, because that wouldn’t be true at all, but there was a little less animosity and maybe, just maybe, some mutual respect. (Of course I could be delusional.) Maybe I’ll write about it in greater detail one of these days and by doing so come to a fuller understanding of it all. Shane grieves of course, but in a quiet and accepting way, as you might expect. On the whole, he’s philosophical about death, you know, we live and therefore we die. Still, I feel there’s been some kind of disturbance in the force, but then that’s me, oversensitive to any kind of change and I have yet to conquer my fear of death.

Thank you kindly for all recent emails. I’m aware that long periods between scribblings leave some folks wondering whether I’ve thrown in the towel and given up writing altogether. Some days I think maybe I have. The drive isn’t as intense as it once was. The medication I take to control my fizzy brain also dulls my thought processes and saps energy on all levels, something I deeply resent, but there you go. As Shane says, it’s just fucking tough.

Forgive me if I ramble incoherently for a second or so. I just need to get something off my chest. All that’s on offer here, all that’s ever been on offer, are my thoughts and my words. You are most welcome to take what you want or need from them and leave the rest. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it makes me sad when people expect more than they ever have a right to expect and when they demand more than their due. If your visits here give you pleasure, make you laugh, maybe cry a little, if my words touch you or you can relate to them, then I’m thrilled and honoured, but you can’t own me anymore than I can own you. Ramble over, thank you.

Talking of words, Revs is still a work in process, but at least it is in progress. Who knows, one of these days it might even be complete. I will do my best, if only for my own satisfaction.

Best wishes to everyone. Not sure when I’ll drop in again, but I will and I hope you will too. Ciao for now, peeps.

Footnote:

Let me clear up a small case of trotter in gob syndrome with regard to above entry. The majority of mails I get are wonderful, be they one offs or from long-time fans. They let me know my witterings are read and have even touched chords, and that’s great otherwise I’d have given up writing long ago. Yes, I’ve had some bad vibes lately, and that’s all I was getting at.





Friday 16th August 2019

There’s a definite hint of autumn in the air this morning. The days are shrinking with earlier sunsets and later sunrises. It’s also damp and chilly in my portion of Old Blighty. So much for summer and global warming. I did suggest to Shane that we might put the heating on, you know, just for a few minutes to take the chill off. His response was to sweetly offer the use of his hand to take the chill off my bottom. I declined and huffily put a warmer top on.

I had a terrifying dream last night involving being pursued by gigantic galloping slugs. I couldn’t outrun them. I woke up, heart pounding, just as they leapt on me, munching me with their razor sharp radula. It’s ZZ’s fault. The garden has been plagued with pests this year, not least slugs and snails. He recently persuaded me to let him put down slug pellets. He claimed they were pet and wildlife friendly and would do no harm to anything other than slugs and snails. It’s a bit discriminatory to my mind. After all, when you think about it, snail and slugs are wildlife too even if they are a fucking menace.

Anyway, I gave in and let him sprinkle the death pellets in an effort to save at least some of the Swiss chard we’ve planted up. It’s an experimental crop, something to add colour to autumn borders as well as being edible. The pellets worked. Over the next few days the garden was littered with mollusc corpses.  ZZ was well happy, but I took no satisfaction from it. I felt like a murderer. I hate killing things. Plus I wasn’t convinced about the pellets safety. I went around picking up the bodies and getting rid in case birds or hedgehogs ate them and got sick. I felt so guilty. I kept wondering if the poor critters had suffered before they died. Its little wonder I dreamed about them coming after me, for I am a sensitive soul.

I’m going back to my preferred method of reducing their numbers - relocation. I go around with a plastic tub and collect as many as I can find, and then relocate them elsewhere. You have to take them a bit of a distance or they just come back because they have an instinct to stay where they’ve hatched. It’s no good lobbing them into neighbouring gardens, because they’ll return pissed off and pronto and eat all your plants, even if they’re not hungry, and then they'll shit on your fence. I usually relocate mine to a scrap of wasteland or the park, releasing them into nice thick undergrowth. There’s no way they can get back from the park, not unless they catch a bus or club together to hire a taxi. I suppose it’s still a bit cruel, uprooting them from their ancestral birthplace. It’s better than murdering them, and at least I dump them together, so they know each other and aren’t alone in a strange land. I like to think they build new communities and have nice lives before being scoffed by a predator.

Anyway, enough inane wittering about my long running battles with slugs and snails, I’ve got something less nonsensical to say, which is rare I know, so listen up.

Takes a deep breath.

After much soul searching and agonising, I’ve come to a decision. 

I think it’s time to take a break as far as the diary is concerned. I think I’ve chattered myself to a standstill, and probably you too. Perhaps I’ve even outstayed my welcome a little. I think it’s time to be brave and say au revoir. That’s not to say I’m toddling off into the sunset forever, but the next time I post here it will be to announce that Revs is complete at long last and I’ve rounded off all that needs to be rounded off. I hope you feel that's worth waiting for. Until then, thank you so very much for all the fun and for sharing this long journey.
Where has all that time gone, eh? We've had some laughs along the way, and tears too.

Thank you for being such wonderful and loyal fluff bunnies. Thank you for your kind fan mails. Special thanks and love to those of you who have written regularly over the years, right from the beginning and from all corners of the globe. You know who you are. I have appreciated each and every one of your letters. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your lives and your glorious photos of cats, dogs, robins, gardens and all manner of things, yes, even those things.

I wish happiness for each one of you. It’s never too late to find happiness, or love, no matter what age you are, so don’t give up. I know some of you are contending with heartbreaking loss and serious illness, anxiety and vanishing dreams. I hope with all my heart that better days come to you soon and you find peace.

Dear diary and dear readers, I’m crying as I write. I don’t know why, perhaps because it’s the end of an era. My happiness does not depend on these pages and neither does yours, but still it’s so very hard to let go and move on. I will miss you. In an effort to cheer up, let me close with yet another long-winded houseboy anecdote, as if I haven’t gob-shited enough already. It might even make you relieved I’m going!

Earlier this month, after getting the men folk off to work, I decided to go out for a run. I left the brekkie pots stacked next to the sink and donned my running gear. It was such a lovely mellow day. I wanted to make the most of it. August heralds the end of summer. It signals that autumn is approaching and warm sunny days will soon be at a premium. Besides, I hoped by running I could distance myself from one of my bouts of nebulous anxiety. So off I went.

After barely half an hour I was dripping in sweat. It was monsoon season under my pits. I stopped running and started walking; detouring through the park, wishing I’d stayed home instead of bloody knackering myself by running in an oven. That’s when I saw him, striding towards me. The coolest guy ever. EVER!

How cool?

Was he a six-pack Adonis with pecs like mountain ranges?

Nope.

This guy had a paunch and was balding on top. What remained of his hair was long and tied back with an elastic band. It dangled between his shoulders like a scrawny grey whippet’s tail. He was dressed in a washed out Black Sabbath t-shirt and shabby jeans with a suspicious flare to the hems. I suspect he’d bought them new in the 1970’s and had never stopped wearing them.  He had a cigarette tucked behind one ear and a sizeable chocolate bar grasped in his right hand while under his left arm was a fat keg of Old Speckled Hen Ale.

As he sailed past me, head up, gut out, I couldn’t help but admire him. I don’t know whether he was returning from a late, late party, or heading to an early one, but I do know one thing. This was a happy dude. He was totally immersed in the moment, living life on his own terms and loving it. That takes some doing these days. The planet is awash with so-called ‘experts’ all vying to tell us how we should live, what we should and shouldn’t eat or drink or even think. This bloke clearly didn’t give a shit for expert opinion. There he was, swinging along, ciggie behind his ear, chocolate bar in hand, and beer keg under his arm. He was raising two fingers at the sanctimonious ‘experts’ and telling them to fuck right off. This was his life and he would smoke, drink and eat chocolate whenever he felt like it and he’d be damned before feeling guilty about it either. That’s what made the guy cool in my eyes, so cool that despite the heat the mega chocolate bar he was happily tearing chunks from with his teeth showed no sign of melting. He was so cool I swear the beer keg under his arm had traces of frost on it.  Legend.

I couldn’t help but smile as I watched him joyfully march on into the distance. Seeing him somehow lifted my spirits. I started running again, enjoying the sights and sounds around me, appreciating the fading beauty of summer flowerbeds and the sound of birds chirping among bushes and trees.  I even took pleasure in the sweaty residue of my endeavours. I arrived home in a happier, less unsettled frame of mind. I ditched my sweats and swished a soapy flannel under my pits and bits and sprayed some deodorant before donning fresh clothes and settling down in the summerhouse with a mug of coffee and a slice of lemon sponge.

Moral?

We could all learn a lesson from Speckled Hen Man - a lesson about living life in the moment and enjoying what we can while we can with those we love while we have them to love.

Well, enough of my famous procrastination. It’s time to go.  Ta-ra, peeps, until we meet again. I think we will, one way or another. In the meantime, live your life each day to the best of your ability and know this - I will hold you all forever within my heart.

Much love,

Gillibran Brown

XX






Update
There are no plans to dismantle the site, so don’t fret pets. I’m paid up until at least next June and being a tight arsed houseboy I like to get my money worth. Any plans to contrary will be announced on these very pages.
Farewell for now, lovely Peeps.
 

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