A summer holiday batch of art supplies off to the food bank. Meagre pickings this time, with no donations except twenty pounds I made flogging cards at a tiny craft fair. Sketchbooks and pencils, coloured paper and glue sticks; better than nothing, but just barely.

Packing them up, it occurs to me that I haven’t painted anything for more than a year, although I have done a few prints and tried some collage. With good reasons, really; lack of time and space both physically and mentally, lots going on. But it’s uncomfortable to be doing so little while feeling that there is so much to be done; when it’s hard to forget that only time past is certain, and the future very much not.

Against the backdrop of a world run mad, sure – it can’t help – but also with the mundane horrors of entropy, creaking joints and softening eyesight, inattention and apathy. Waking up has become a checklist of mechanical failures and system glitches, nothing too serious (I mean, yet…) but longer all the time. I fantasise about an artistic legitimacy that would somehow come with room to work and a door to close and something to say, but scrabble for purchase on all fronts. Meanwhile there is any amount of cleaning and packing to do, the eldest off to university (miles and miles away), another round on the back-to-school Covid rollercoaster to endure. But we had a few days holiday; slept somewhere else for the first time in eighteen months, sifted pebbles on the beach. Remembered possibilities.