The work storm is still blowing a hooley. There are now 19,000 new words. This is easily the craziest project I ever started. At the end of each day I feel as if someone surgically removed my brain and hit it with a baseball bat.
The small things continue very small. The pied wagtails have arrived. Mr Wagtail, for I think it is he, smiles and bows at me in the field each morning. I have heard the first woodpecker, the first cry of the oystercatchers, but not seen the birds. They remain ghostly presences, calling out their different songs. I did some HorseBack work and wrote something for the red mare’s Facebook page. She has a book to promote, so there must be stories to spread the word. Also, I always think that she could die at any time. I don’t mean this in a ghoulish way, but in a realistic way. Horses are fabulously fragile: one random infection or a false step in the field can do for them. She is the love of my life and because she is written down she’ll always live with me.
I do actual chores. I’m crap at chores. No, no, I think to myself, I can’t possibly do chores now, I shall do them tomorrow. Today’s chores are not glamorous. There is a lot of sweeping of floors and taking vast cardboard boxes to the incinerator. Because clever Amazon Prime has me in its beam, I now buy everything from dried Marigold flowers (good for the mares’ digestion) to Wagg liver treats (good for the dogs’ training) from there and smiling women and heavily tattooed men arrive at the door with boxes big enough to enclose a small tractor. The boxes are so big that they often can hardly fit into the door. I then have to manhandle them into the car (also quite small) and take them to the great pit where my neighbouring builders burn their rubbish. The slots of the recycling skip in the village are far too pathetically small to even entertain such monsters.
I love the convenience of the deliver to the door. I curse and loathe those absurd boxes. I stare at them balefully as they loll drunkenly about the house, making it look like one of those places to which ITV sends decluttering experts who purse their lips and mutter under their breath.
Today, I grasped the fuckers with both hands and got rid of the lot. This is not exactly a prize-winning achievement, but I have a holy sense of satisfaction, as if I have done something properly good. The small things, it turns out, do not only have to be love and trees and moss and whickers. The dullest chores can sometimes make me feel like a saint.
I even listened with attention to PM whilst I tidied the kitchen this evening, so I have some hazy idea of the rewriting of twenty thousand European laws. When I was very doleful about Brexit I said to the dear Stepfather, with a slightly hollow bravado: well, at least the lawyers will be pleased. There will be lots of work for the lawyers, and lawyers spend money, so they’ll keep the economy going, I said. The lawyers will buy Maseratis and go out for expensive coffee and raise consumer confidence, I insisted. I was joking. But now I think I might have been closer to the mark than I knew.