I’m back to work on Monday. But, you say, you were signed off with ‘depression’ for three weeks and have been off work for only two. All too true. So do I not know what is good for me? Do I actually feel better? The answer to the last question is not enough, but I am no longer helping myself by staying at home. Moreover, if I leave it much longer, the students I teach at college are going to be so off course (literally) that getting them back to where they should be will become impossible. I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband and family to support me, even when I am cross and difficult, and many many friends.
Although I have read a lot, including three issues of Mslexia, I haven’t done much writing. Each morning, I seemed to have a clear day in front of me, but it got taken up with other things. At the end of last week, however, I made myself write and submit a ‘Rant’ for Mslexia, about the random and unhelpful use of streetnames and district names in novels (see previous post) . A seventy-five words long Mslexia ‘Rant’ was just about managable for poor stressed old me. Fingers crossed! The wonderful thing about Mslexia is that they pay for all contributions. Ranting done, I spent a long time editing a possible womag story about Second World War evacuees, but I’m not satisfied it with yet, and I also intend to write a review of ‘The Amber Keeper’ by Freda Lightfoot (a historical novel) and sub it. (If I’m successful, I will post the appropriate link on here. Be grateful for the crumbs, Dear Reader.)
Both of these are closed Facebook groups, meaning that you need to seek the administrator’s consent to join and posts are only visible to members of the group, not to the general public. Nevertheless I believe that the administrators of both would welcome applications from potential members who are serious about writing for womag or reviewing.
I have to confess that, over the last couple of weeks, I have developed a disturbing Waitrose habit, visiting the local branch every other day and spending too much money there. Although my one and only husband does most of our shopping and is very efficient, I did enjoy being able to bag my own favourites. Perhaps some aubergines today, celeriac, fresh beetroot (not pickled in a jar) and some of those delicious-looking, albeit slightly more expensive, tomatoes. I enjoy my free cup of coffee as I walk around, the relaxed atmosphere and the general niceness of the place. Initially, I became irritated by customers who hovered around in the car park or had weather conversations with the enquiries desk team (preventing me from getting my coffee cup), but after a while I realised that this was what I was coming for. ‘So sorry for standing in front of the mushrooms.’ ‘Don’t worry. I’m in no hurry.’
By mid-morning tomorrow, I imagine my head will be full of work, computers and students. I will try and kick myself to write my review and finish editing my story. If I’m too tired, I shall continue reading Susan Hill’s latest Simon Serrailler novel (‘A Betrayal of Trust’), which will be no hardship at all. This morning, I made some more soup.