I have slept for twelve hours solid, which feels like money in the bank, and we have moved into spring, which feels like release. It has been an accursedly hard winter, M.E.-wise and I am looking forward to a “good spell”. Never mind if I don’t get it, the looking forward feels good enough, and today – well, right at this moment, I am feeling ok.
We have recently bought two things. One is useless and the other is ugly. The useless thing is very good-looking and the ugly thing is very useful. The Signs household does not make hasty or unnecessary acquisitions, not so much because we couldn’t afford to (I mean we live modestly though not exactly on a shoestring) but mainly because we seriously cannot be bothered, I don’t have the strength for it and Mr. Signs doesn’t have the time, and it’s fine because we have more or less what we need; apart from a decent vegetable rack that has space for vegetables and doesn’t keep falling apart, but such a thing no longer seems to exist, it doesn’t materially affect our lives at a deep level and my intermittent bursts of “oh fuck, the sodding vegetable rack has collapsed again” is just part of the rhythm of life here.
The laptop tray thing seemed a perfect solution to days when I need to spend more time in bed than out but would like to do some word work – it is adjustable, has space for the mouse and is a lovely bit of wood, nicely finished and pleasing to the eye. The problem is that it has been treated with some kind of varnish or polyurethane stuff that makes me feel ill after five minutes. After ten minutes my mouth goes dry and my head begins to bang and after fifteen minutes I feel like throwing up. We have left it to air in the garden shed but it is still too toxic for me to go near. A completely desirable thing that says touch me not. We have tried ringing the manufacturers to see if it can be exchanged for an untreated one but they don’t return our calls. We also acquired an anglepoise-style lamp because the trusty white one that has been with us ever since I can remember has finally given up the ghost. The replacement, from Argos (costing less than £10), is made of grey plastic and a deeply unattractive metal they call silver but it looks like a wet day in January and makes your heart sink just to look at it. It works, though – does the job. So here it is likely to stay because the alternative is shopping around.
Our cherry tree has been cut down to allow our neighbour’s vegetable patch the light it needs. I took some of the blossoming branches and put them in a vase. I have never before put my face to the blossoms and really taken in the scent of them. It was as though they were singing the swan song, giving up the ghost of themselves. It reminded me of when I tasted the fruit, when I had the chance, before the deer got there first. A sense of something offered, sacrificed, essence of cherry tree, a communication (it felt so personal) that touched me to the core. I am grateful.