27. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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I don't know why nobody told you,
How to unfold your love,
I don't know how someone controlled you,
They bought and sold you.


January 1966

I haven't written a journal for more than a year. Not at all in 1965. I stopped writing shortly after the wedding. Now I have a new 1966 journal, a christmas present from Minnie. It's dark blue, leather bound, thick, with lined, undated pages and a black ribbon bookmark. She's more astute than she lets on. A new journal for a new life, she's written just inside the front cover. I can't get back into the habit of it though. It's already the 22nd of January and I've hardly written a word.

So, what can I write about? 

Perhaps I should write about where I am? I'm in a dark little bedroom, in a dark little house. It's cold and rainy outside, the sky is a charcoal grey.

Perhaps I should write about how I go here? Well, car, plane, car. 

Neither of these things seem particularly remarkable or note worthy. 

Perhaps I should write about the news of the day, current affairs. An Italian prime minister has resigned. Indira Ghandi has become the first female prime minister of India. We Can Work It Out is number one in the US and the UK. The American government has sent more troops to South Vietnam. All of these are significant events, but none of them seem that important to me.

I've written a diary every year since I was fifteen. I first began writing to record the bits of life I wanted to remember. And none of the moments I didn't. 

When I first met George, nearly five years ago, I filled the pages. I wrote and wrote about him, about what we did together, about how hard it was when he went away to Germany. I haven't got the two earliest diaries. They were left behind in Liverpool when we ran away from home. I have 1960 through to 1964, and when I flick through them, they're all about George. George and me in Liverpool. George and me in Hamburg. George going home, without me. Then there is a brief period about Ricky, but slowly George filters back in, until by September 1964 all I'm writing about is him again. I should have been madly in love with the man I was about to marry, but all I was thinking about, all I was worrying about, was George. 

So I stopped. I stopped writing about anything. A couple of days after the wedding, Ricky and I went to Italy for our honeymoon. We stayed with some of Ricky's more distant family outside of Napoli. I didn't take my journal with me.

The journal went to live at the back of my dresser drawer and I tried to move on. I didn't want to record the things that happened anymore, good or bad. But, just because I didn't write them down, it didn't stop things from happening. Not recording life doesn't mean that life doesn't happen, just the same.

*

May 1965

I have six saucepans of different things to cook and a four hob stove. Something is not going to work out here. 

I'm getting flustered. I'm used to cooking, I've made dinner every night since I was twelve or thirteen. My grandmother taught me a lot and the rest I've picked up as I've gone along, but tonight, I am in over my head. 

We have Maurice, Sal, Gianni and his wife, plus Cat, Bet and Minnie, all coming for dinner. I've never cooked for nine people before. I'm terrified it's all going to go wrong. I've been doing it all afternoon. I've over cooked the potatoes so now they're watery mush, I haven't started the carrots, I don't think I've worked out the timing right for the roast in the oven, I still need to get dressed and everyone will be arriving soon.

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