fran - day 4
by Rosie Coleman Collier
fran – day 4
You text me first thing this morning saying you’re annoyed because you have to go all the way into work for one hour to do an introduction with the fine art students, then back to Durham to go to the dentist. I reply saying how annoying and send you pictures of my new flat as I eat a single slice of toast today with a layer of peanut butter (crunchy always, the Whole Earth brand is my favourite), some raspberries, and drink a coffee. I need space from the studio, so I walk to the library. The temperature has dropped in Glasgow, but the sun being so bright makes up for any cold.
I decide I need another coffee and go to the café on the 3rd floor of the library. I have an Americano with oat milk that was better than expected for a coffee from a canteen style café. We’re still in correspondence when I find a desk on the 11th floor; we are skilled in covering a range of topics in a matter of minutes, from short messages on how tired we feel today to longer voicenote exchanges of gossip. Recently, we talk a lot about the football. On the morning of every Newcastle game one of us will send the other a text saying ‘where u watching the match’, an expression of interest shared in the knowledge we can rarely watch together. Sometimes we move onto Instagram to send each other videos of Brazilian football players dancing. The other day you call me out of the blue when you are driving home to see how I am. You remind me today you’re going away in April. I try not to think about what going back to Newcastle will be like without you there.
I have a meeting at 1pm but don’t have time to get lunch before, so I snack on an Eat Natural bar that I found in the front pocket of my bag. For lunch I get some butternut squash and chilli soup and a tuna cheese toastie. It looks incredibly, embarrassingly bland, but the inside of the toasty was perfectly melted, hot and satisfying. I speak to my dad on the phone and I tell him how I’m not sleeping that well at the minute. He says that sometimes when you don’t sleep you can feel as though you are jet lagged, and I feel grateful for how he has given me a term to describe the sensation I have.
Taking photographs of the food I am eating this week is familiar – it is something you do regularly. I remember when you once told me that people call you up and ask where they should go for dinner in town that evening. Your head is a restaurant encyclopaedia, sometimes my dad asks me how I know about all these places to eat in Newcastle when I don’t even live there, and my answer is always ‘Fran told me’. The last meal we ate together was some chicken strips and chips from the Grainger Market on your lunch break. We shared extra gravy for dipping the chips into.
Back home I reheat leftover chilli with corn on the cob and chop up coriander. It is steaming hot and a big enough portion to see me through into the evening. I eat quickly, keeping my eye on the clock. Load plates in the dishwasher, get changed and reapply some discrete makeup before rushing over to Barnes for an exhibition opening and picking up some chewing gum on the way. No cans of Tenants so I have a Corona, which I hate, but you like. I chat to people then realise its 7:15 and I said I would meet Lottie at 7:20. I make a rushed exit, speed walk across the motorway and get to the pub in ten minutes. When I order a round, I’m texting you at the bar saying I’m out with a friend, and are you having a nice evening?, a bit like how I might text a boyfriend.
When I get home, I have three slices of toast with butter, sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt.
Bio: Rosie (she/her) is a curator, researcher and editor from Newcastle upon Tyne currently based in Glasgow where she is doing an MLitt Curatorial Practice at GSA. Her work looks to facilitate contexts for exchange and collectivity, and is situated within practical and theoretical approaches towards care, labour, support, relations and intimacy.
Thanks! Kate + Sinae