Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I lost two days. Turned around, took my eye off the thing and pphhtt: they were gone. There was tiredness and grumpiness, combined with low-grade fretting about my mother (I know the docs in Aberdeen are among the best in the country; I know that the lovely NHS will look after her; but, still) which turned into a bitchy little stomach flu. It's that one where you feel like a knackered old lady who has been run over by a large piece of farm machinery, so there has to be much sleeping in the day. Then you wake up at two in the morning and can't go back to sleep until five, no matter how much bloody World Service you listen to. And, as F Scott Fitzgerald said, in one of his moments of shining lucidity, in the dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning. And, at three o'clock in the morning, unless you are staying up all night with a gentleman with a gleam in his eye and a couple of trannies for fun, it is always the dark night of the soul. Particularly when you have a constant underlying feeling of physical nausea.
My favourite thing is, when my most beloveds are beating themselves up, as beloveds will, to tell them to step away from the large club with which they are bashing themselves over the head. I make weak jokes about egg shaped lumps on the top of heads. I say: you really can stop hitting yourself with the implement now. Oh, I am so wise and sane. And then I get a little stomach bug, and I lie awake in the night castigating myself for all my perceived failings. I do the exact same thing that I give those I love permission, in fact instruction, not to do. So I am not only an idiot, I am in danger of being a hypocrite.
Here is what I say:
Why can I not be the kind of organised person who does not get actual terror in her stomach when tax day rolls around? Why can I not open my post? (I have a degree, for God's sake, surely opening a simple envelope is not beyond me?) Why did I spend so much money on hotels in the roaring nineties? Why can I not tidy my shed? You should see my shed. It is like the shed of DOOM with extra doom on the side. And the sad thing is it looks so quaint and picturesque on the outside; then you open the door….
I shan't go on, because it's too dull. You get the drift. Actually, I feel better now. Thank you for letting me share with the group.
Other things I have been wondering:
Why could I never achieve an office as lovely and clean and cool and Spartan as this one, photographed by Patric Johannson, which I found on a blog called Style File?
Where in the world is this?
Do the people who get to study in this glorious library at Coimbra in Portugal have to look up every five minutes, unable to believe their luck? Admittedly, I did get to study in Duke Humphrey's Library in the Bodleian when I was at university; also the magnificent Codrington, thanks to my friend Ed, who told me how to get the special pass to All Souls and made me do it, just so I could look at the black and white floor and the twenty foot high statues in white marble. But I am still envious of the students at Coimbra.
If I am very, very good, and tidy up everything, and learn to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and stop ranting at people down the telephone when they just rang up to ask one simple question that required a one word answer, will someone give me a picture by Martin Munkacsi? Like this one? -
I'm stopping now. It's time for my medication.