Posted by Tania Kindersley.
What incredibly kind get well wishes you all send. It is like getting little virtual pots of chicken soup through the blogosphere. Thank you.
Did not sleep much last night and woke still feeling absolutely awful. Dozed and moaned about in bed for the morning, despite my resolution to get back to work. I was about to write the whole day off, when suddenly an entire new section of book fell into my head.
Sarah, who had been worried by my flat voice when she rang at ten, called back at lunchtime to find me up and jabbering.
'I'm going to do a whole thing about the psychology of beauty, with specific reference to thighs,' I said.
'Oh yes,' she said.
'And then a little diversion on the burqa,' I said. 'I've been thinking about it, because of the French.'
'Of course,' she said. 'The French.'
'And I might make a small tangent on the patriarchy,' I said.
'The patriarchy,' she said. 'Yes.'
(I have an entire new idea about how the patriarchy exists and does not exist, all at the same time.)
I went on for a while. After a bit, she said:
'Are you sure you are all right?'
'Yes,' I said. 'Remember how I hate being ill, I think it a sign of weakness, as if I have given up. And then I always go a little crazy in the head at this stage of a book.'
'Yes,' she said, once more with feeling. 'You do.'
It's not really craziness, although occasionally it feels like that. It's just that when a book comes, it comes like a freight train, and sometimes I get run over by it. I become monomaniac; I can't think about much else. I care so much about it that it makes my ears ache. More, more, more, shout the voices in my head. More words, more ideas, more little lemon twists. Better, better, better, yells my perfectionist self, which I try and fail to vanquish.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sit down calmly, not really caring much one way or the other. Are there sanguine writers out there, who just think: that will do?
Luckily, my mother has sent me limes. She says I need the vitamin C. I am perfectly certain that this is the answer.
In the meantime, despite a lingering viral load, I have done 2190 words, much to my astonishment.
Here are some soothing things on which to gaze:
Miraculous little apples on my new apple tree.
The chanterelles my niece bought yesterday.
Old-fashioned lavender, in a pot.
My favourite mint. I keep thinking: I must make mint tea.
Update on the mystery seeds, still growing.
And the lovely pot table, still giving me vast pleasure.