Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dear Jack... has, as you have noticed, been 'all quiet' here at the Manor for over a week now. (Welcome, by the way - always good to have a Follower brave enough to declare themselves publically!!). Panic not - I am neither dead nor hospitalised, nor lost all my typing fingers in a freak accident involving a garlic press and a rogue patch of extra-virgin olive oil on the kitchen floor...


...although it may have seemed 'quiet' on the face of things, beneath the corsets it has been a seething mass of noise and emotion and stomping and howling at the moon in a most unladylike fashion. I fear even the restrained Mr Darcy would have slapped me if he'd been able to catch me.

I've been writing, you see. Caught up in a creative maelstrom, fraught with indecision, plunged into a chasm of artistic depression that would make any of Sylvia Plath's efforts seem like a Monty Python sketch.

Plus the ugly spectre of 'Let's Move House' has cocked its leg again with all the subtlety of a Great Dane on a heavy dose of diuretics.

I am, as always, going to blame my dwindling hormones. And my middle-age. And Life being Bumpy rather than Smooth. Like peanut butter.

It's been half-term. Andy has been on holiday, too, and even he admitted to feeling stir-crazy enough to want to go for a walk this afternoon, although his foray was short because of a wardrobe malfunction with his flies. We're both back to work tomorrow, and I think it goes to show that even though it's nice having time at home, being at work is key to maintaining one's sanity.

I say, 'back to work' when what I really mean is 'paid work.' We've both been busily engaged in 'unpaid work' involving planting fruit trees (gooseberries and grapevines - sounds like a bedroom farce, oo-eer missus) in the Somme, I mean, the back garden (this is what happens when you get a week of rain mixed with digging chickens), and more 'turfing out of tat' (in preparation for moving house??? Ye Gods!). And Andy has been sketching and drawing and I have been writing.

I am writing like a loon because I've found a competition for first time novelists into which I am determined 'Indigo Antfarm, Violet and Blue' will be entered. And 'Merrily, Kissed by an Angel' if I can manage both of them without going completely mad. To that end I've done a massive re-edit on these two babies of mine, and then I got side-tracked by a new baby called 'Freedom and Revenge' which is probably more autobiographical than it really should be (age and hormones again), but as fellow writers will know, once the words are there, they won't let you alone until you've spat them out, and constant writing births more writing, even though it may be something completely new and unconnected. Annoying? Yes. Distracting? Yes. The Best Fun in the World? You betcha!!

We have managed to get out and about this week. On Monday we went to Kew Gardens. It was freezing cold and we got rained on, but the Orchid Exhibition was magnificent and I wandered around taking arty photos like I was a proper arty photographer type. On Wednesday we had a friend to dinner - we created a Thai extravaganza topped off with that traditional Thai pudding of apple crumble. On Friday we picked up my consignment of 48 copies of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time,' which I have been charged with distributing to the masses on World Book Night next week. And yesterday we went to Canterbury which was freezing cold and we got rained on, but I bought a lovely pure-wool-made-in-Britain blanket from the National Trust Shop. I am currently engaged in a fight for possession of the aforesaid blanket with the cats. I have size on my side, they have teeth and claws.

As for the Spectre of Moving House - well, this time we're thinking of Shropshire. Don't ask me why because I don't know. It's one of those irritating 'feelings' one gets that makes one spend hours on property websites going 'Ooooh, look at this one. This one has potential.'

Shall we, shan't we? Will we, won't we?

It's all adding to the general hysteria that is messing up my brain at the moment.

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