Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just Juice

Up the Smoke again to visit the Daughter, the very walls of her lovely little flat (that looks like something created especially for a theatre set) breathing out the atmosphere of creative endeavour, the libretto and musical score of her recently completed musical bearing witness. She cooked prawn and spinach curry for us. I touched in with a dear Smoke-based writerfriend. Bliss. For it has been intense on the domestic front here at Signs Cottage, with Son back working all hours at all sorts to get money for travelling, and Mr. S also time-stretched with work and shrink-training, not to mention artistic creations, some of which now grace the wall of Daughter's flat. (And what am I doing as in, you know, Doing, you are wondering - I will get to that anon - probably).

The one who does the cooking/laundry/dishes is she who isn't out earning money. Stands to reason, and it isn't as though one actually resents it or as if anyone were taking advantage and not pulling their weight around the place. Everyone is doing their best. But it is a problem because of my energy/strength situation: how to fit in The Writing and not just come to it late in the day when it is quite hopeless to think of serious, sustained endeavour. Clue: when I was in the Smoke they had take-away suppers - fish and chips one night and curry the next. Lovely girlperson who comes once a week to clean vacuumed the carpets, cleaned the kitchen floor and changed bedlinen. When I absent myself, life goes on, I can just as well absent myself by going to the study as by going elsewhere and we are all grownups here. Life with small children is a different kettle of fish altogether. But. It does not feel good or right to welcome home the hard-pressed gentlemen folk of the house with nothing and - here is the nub - they and the Daughter are important to me and deserving of my attentions and when chips are down they come first in the scheme of things.

But still. I am determined to crack on with writing project and so have set myself the ridiculous challenge of doing NaNoWriMo this year. The idea came about as I sat outside on my birthday after having too much cake and coffee. Someone said, why don't we do it and I of course, at once, said yes lets, and then if it all went pear-shaped I could blame her for suggesting it. London writerfriend, who knows my situation and is realistic, said I should busy myself with appropriate warm-ups for the rest of this month, so I have been sustaining myself with instant coffee and chocolate, with no observable ill effects, bearing in mind that one is always feeling ill effects of something or other. No, but this is very encouraging, because I will save much time not shopping for and preparing biodynamic salads and raw vegetable juices. My juicer has, in any case, gone back to the chemist that sold it to me because of the particular make being recalled for potentially dangerous flaw in the works. I take this as a Sign - why wouldn't I? Organic juices are time-consuming and preparing them may be hazardous to your wellbeing. Coffee and chocolate rock.

Fifty thousand words in a month? Ha! Watch this space.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I was sitting on the patio in the sunshine, it was my birthday, I had eaten a great quantity of coffee and walnut cake and drunk two mugs of coffee, there was very possibly sugar rush and caffeine high. I was bragging about my fall and how quickly I had recovered from the jolt to my spine and the bash to my head (which has left a distinctive little Harry Potter lightning-shaped scar on my forehead). The gods, having nothing better to do and feeling, perhaps, irritated by the number of apples that have ended up rotting sweetly on the "compost" heap at the end of the garden, decided to kick in and give me a bad back, weeks after the event. So now the base of my spine is inflamed, or something, and the osteopath says that I should not sit, especially at a desk, for long periods, and I should go out for "several" short, brisk walks each day so that the disc settles back. Or something. And as I sit here, I look out and it is raining. The writing has suffered a bit of a dislocation also. The gods (I knew this already), do not like interruptions, and when there are too many losing the plot is as easy as losing your way on the mountains when the mist comes down; and you have run out of Kendal Mint Cake; and you feel as though you could just lie down and sleep; but you know that this is not really an option. So you go on.