Liz, The Tesco Delivery Man and The Grape Reset

Liz, The Tesco Delivery Man and The Grape Reset

The Grape Reset

Nearly twenty years ago, with financial help from the Millennium Awards, I set up weekly writing as therapy workshops for people with MS, ME, any other autoimmune disease, and carers. It was called ‘ManuScript Expression’. We met in a pod at the top of Peckham library. My mantra as the conductor of the group – “Whatever you write is right”.

With that in mind, with nothing to say right now, because I feel silenced. I write away. Whatever comes into my head while listening to my rather large Spotify play list. It’s on shuffle. Let’s see what comes up.

Written in Scars – Jack Savoretti

The last blog I wrote was about my visit to a private dentist. My latest visit to my NHS dentist of 25 years was a very different experience and pre-empted another experience I have yet to process. Trauma. The crux being, the Grape Reset and the psychological change in our behaviour from the lockdowns is doing what it knew it would do. Divide and conquer. Chronic isolation, psychological operations, discrimination. Here is what Klaus Schwab writes in his book COVID 19, THE GREAT RESET. July 2020.

“For many people, traversing the COVID-19 pandemic will be defined as living a personal trauma. The SCARS inflicted may last for years…. Humans are inherent social beings. Companionship and social interactions are a vital component of our humanness. If deprived of them we find our lives turned upside down…..In May 2020, the NHS England’s clinical director for mental health told a parliamentary committee that the “demand for mental healthcare would increase ‘significantly’ once the lockdown ended and would see people needing treatment for years to come.’ ”

The SCARS Jack Savoretti sings about are ones of revolution. We will see, as our NHS are offered a 1% pay rise.

That same night I had my recurring dream of my teeth falling out. I’d been to two dentists after all. No surprise, yet I do believe it is about loss, change – and aging. Or perhaps, I didn’t manage to say exactly what I wanted to. Feeling silenced. It will come out with each song. That’s what music does.

Laughing Gnome David Bowie

“I’m a Laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me.”

I am laughing with our dead Dame. I love gnomes. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. I loved that video of David and his gnomes laughing.

A pause for a cuppa.

I wanna Destroy You – The Soft Boys

“They tell you your opinions and their very good indeed

I Wanna Destroy You”

What next, anger perhaps? Better get that out, if repressed it will give me physical symptoms. The music is more interesting than my writing.

Fat White Family- The Whitest Boy on the Beach

Can you say that? The Fat White Family can say that. They can say what they like. Made in Peckham. I stay silenced. A mask would shut me up further – if I wore one. Do I tell all or no one? No one asks. If I speak, I am judged. Everything is judged. Fear makes more judgement. I don’t judge. I don’t fear. Anything, not death. For sure. I have planned my funeral.

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult 

“The Fire in Your eyes keeps me alive”

The CULT. The Corona Cult.

Despite having planned my funeral, many years ago, I remain alive. I thought I’d die before my 25thbirthday. A suicide pact with a school friend I snogged one New Year Eve at the Traveller’s Joy in Rayleigh, Essex. My home town of course.

“And the world turns upside down, the world drags me down

Sure the hell you’ll find, sanctuary”

Each Sunday evening, one of our neighbour’s cooks. He is a chef who lost his job during lockdown. It is so exciting to get home cooked food that’s been lovingly prepared and cooked for our community by a talented professional.

One of these things First – Nick Drake 

I could have been, blah blah, a cook? No, not me never. I’m not that bothered about cooking. Only once in a while. I could have been all sorts, had I got my GCSE’s I could have gone to 6thform and done theatre studies. Then maybe drama college. I could have taken too much smack or crack. I could have gone to the dogs. I got a dog. I could have been a spinster. I could have been a drunk. I was a punk. I could have been a lettuce. I am a nut job. The nut that does the job of sewing a seed. Instigating thought and talk. Curiosity. Nick Drake died young. I wonder if he had his funeral planned. My funeral dress is leather. It won’t need ironing. I’m still unsure whether I want a cremation or burial. Can you do half and half?

Relax – Frankie goes to Hollywood 

And breathe. Relax. Not that sort of heavy breathing. Not like a masturbater ringing the Samaritans.

A song all about shagging. Coming. This song was censored. Banned. Loving these old tunes. Laser beam themes. I find it interesting in the series Animal Kingdom after they have sex they just get up and I wonder where the sperm goes. Where does the sperm go? Condoms? Yes? No? It’s not just in Animal Kingdom. It’s everywhere. TV rarely deals with such bodily fluids.

Back to Nick Drake, I’ll leave it here – When the Day is Done

“When the game’s been fought 

Newspaper blown across the court”

What a line, newspaper blown across the court. I wish I’d written it. We will see. Shuffle on Spotify has decided I want to hear more Nick Drake. The Grape –  Reset.

Covid 19 The Great Reset – another Klaus quote quoting someone fomr before July – “As one restauranteur put it, ‘I, like hundreds of chefs across the city and thousands around the country, am now staring down at the question of what our restaurants, our careers, our lives, might look like if we can even get them back’”.

It’s time. I shall go collect our lovely meal from our neighbour. I know how lucky I am. Tonight. The game’s not been fought yet.

Dentistry, bulimia and Nanny State Beer brought to Liz by her infamous Tesco Delivery Man

Liz with Nanny State Beer and Tesco Delivery Man

Liz, Nanny State Beer and Tesco Delivery Man

For twenty-five years I have seen the same dentist in Surrey Quays. I love my dentist. When I first started going her nurse was Jade Goody. Poor Jade. I am proud to remember on such visits to the dentist Jade had her fingers down my throat. This was of course before the sad tale of her taumatic childhood became public and she became a victim again.

At one point, my dentist left Surrey Quays to open a private surgery. A few years later she returned to work two days a week at Surrey Quays. She said she missed her NHS patients. Her private patients were demanding, she said.

My lovely dentist has taken my MS very seriously. She has seen me on one crutch, two crutches and skipping into the surgery. She is interested in my story. She understands I have periodontal damage from when I was bulimic in my twenties. She has given me white fillings on the NHS because she understands that mercury may not bode well with my condition.

This week I needed to go the dentist. Pronto. I couldn’t wait for the nearly three weeks appointment to see my lovely dentist. I couldn’t work or function normally. Fortunately, I was able to afford to go to a private dentist. Not something I wanted to spend my hard-earned cash on, but it was an emergency.

I took a taxi into the West End. I enjoyed the trip. Over Waterloo Bridge I looked into the shops, wondering how all the furloughed staff may be feeling about lockdowns. Wondering which of these businesses would survive the closures. London felt as dead as my tooth, yet as painful as the nerve underneath it.

My private dentist was delightful. Expensive, but delightful. She sorted me out so I didn’t care of the cost. Once home and the numbness of the injection had worn off, I felt in control again. But in control of what? I still have plenty of dental work to be do, and shall keep the appointment at Surrey Quays. My dentist will understand how I had to be unfaithful, even if it does sadden her a little.

During this last visit the private dentist asked about my gum damage. I talked freely of the story of when and why I was bulimic. When I was in my 20’s I was ashamed, this story didn’t come out at all, in fact I sought private dentistry then just so it wouldn’t be on any NHS records. These periodontal problems were hi lighted when I was in Berlin, the Christmas just after I was diagnosed with MS in 1987.

What a shite Christmas that was. One emergency German dentist butchered me and ripped me off, the other told me I needed periodontal work on my gums when I got back to London. The irony, that soon after I got a job through an agent as a receptionist for the Periodontal clinic at the dental hospital of UCH. I got to learn a lot about this matter. I remember Dr Leg from Eastenders coming into to the clinic regularly. I wondered if he had bulimia too. I wondered why he wasn’t going private? Surely as an actor he’d have lots of money? What a lot I had to learn.

If we face our past traumas, they do become less painful but they never disappear. Anything can trigger a memory, a flash back. My private dentist reminded me of this. She could see the scarring, like a brain scan can see damage to my myelin sheath. All trauma based.

This weekend I drove my fifteen-year-old daughter to the park to meet with the same friends as per my previous blog about the altercation with the insecurity man (scroll down to read, I’m pleased with that one and the story has been picked up by a publisher and will be in a book of short Covid stories in the spring, will let you know). Because my daughter’s headphones had been borrowed by her step sister, in order to listen to her music, she had to plug her phone into the car system and allow me to listen.

What an eyeopener. I loved so much of the music she played. Penelope Scott was one of my favourites. My daughter seemed to enjoy me enjoying her music and I wished our journey was a longer one. I knew when she got her headphones back she wouldn’t allow me to listen in again.

One of the songs she played had a reference to bulimia.

“I had bulimia,” I said.

“Did you?” she said. “I didn’t know that.”

In that moment I felt that sense of connection I haven’t experienced since she started her periods. It was like I’d become a cool parent. One that could perhaps understand how hard life is for her and has been during these lockdowns.

“Everybody knows everything about everybody and what they don’t know they make up.” A saying from my ex Scottish boyfriend who is now dead.

What do we really know about anything or anybody until we spend time, proper TIME with someone? Proper, proper time.

I am so aware of how judgmental we have become. We really can’t claim to know. We can control nothing. We can radically accept that we have nothing to control. There is no message in this. What is truth? What can I trust? Who can I trust? Yet for me the most important question.

What are you trusting someone with?

Our responses are all unique and come from way before the womb. As individuals, our teeth give a lot away.

On second thoughts, there is a message. If you are experiencing any dental or gum pain, don’t wait. Get an appointment with your dentist. Even if the pain goes away and you cancel. There are many waiting lists for cancellations who are desperate.