Diary of the Plague Year: Day 18 2 April 2020: Mown paths


I have mown paths around the apple trees and narcissi.

Listening to Rameau Les Indes Galantes.

And whilst reading Michael Longley this thought suddenly came into my head: “What clothes we used to wear!”. No idea why.

But what clothes we used to wear!

A tartan nightshirt over leggings and pixie boots.
Layers of junk shop skirts
Junk shop earrings
A pair of striped metallic silver leggings so that I looked like a young tough in a Renaissance painting
Tiny, knitted mini-skirts worn, luckily, with thick tights and flat shoes
A peculiar mustard velour miniskirt that looked like it was made from carpet
Chef’s trousers
Zouaves – does anyone even remember what those are?
A gigantic tank top that must have been made for the fat man at the circus from Flip or was it Mr Howie?
A HUGE blue mohair tam-o-shanter – in payment for the first painting I ever sold
The pièce de résistance – the bottom half of some prison pyjamas, grey-and-white striped tucked into the aforementioned pixie boots under a moth-eaten old fur coat, with diamante clips in my hair – one half of my head shaved.  I remember sashaying down some steps at a Hayward opening and seeing Waldemar Januszczak at the bottom slack-jawed in amazement, as well he might. I thought I was the bees knees. I’m not sure what he was thinking, nothing remotely similar I’m sure. Strangely though, I was not a confident young person but I did have a lot of bravado.