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Does anyone else do this?

Still reading...


These are just some of the books I found scattered under and around my bed!
All books I have started in the last few months and intended to finish, but then got lured away by something else. (All except the Andrew Sean Greer – I am still reading that). I WILL finish all of them very soon and so refuse to move them away from my bed.
There is also a pile of soon-to-reads waiting hopefully in the corner for me to beckon to them into my bed. . .
This is filthy, dirty, fickle and naughty. But if you’re going to be any of those things it may as well be in the bedroom!!
Please tell me I am not alone in my book philandering … Does anyone else have nine on the go at once???!!!

Just for the record. These are the ones under my bed that I have recently finished, but I kept close because I loved them!:

Have read

They are Lorrie Moore’s Who Will Run the Frog Hospital, Sadie Jones’s The Outcast, Tania Hershman’s The White Road, Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden, Katherine May’s Burning Out, Elizabeth Baines’s Balancing on the Edge of the World, Caroline Smailes’s In Search of Adam and Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes

How to lose a day you didn’t want to lose…

I’m being very brave here. I don’t like sharing my emotions, but sometimes knowing that other people go through the same thing can help.

The dark days sometimes happen out of the blue, sometimes they creep up. I don’t know where they come from and I don’t know why they come. Luckily for me they don’t last long.
I wrote this a few weeks ago (in March) and am okay at the moment.
Here are the words that tumbled out of me – I haven’t edited:

‘Whatever This is’ …

    I sit heavily on the sofa with my coffee and sigh, staring past all the trappings of a modern family, out into the garden, which seems to simply hang irritatingly. Dragged down. Wasted. Limp. Browns and greys. Left over branches and leaves from last year still flop around, rotting and useless five months after they died. There is no blue sky today. Just miles and miles of blank grey. There’s no colour that I can see and no sign of spring. The sap may be rising out there but from where I am sitting there is no evidence of it. My ears are tuned out from the bird-song and the bleating lambs today. The scene looks pathetic and droopy. The muscles in the back of my neck are tight, my head aches dully and I feel uncontrollably negative, pessimistic, dragged down. Wasted. Limp. Browns and greys…
    I bring my eyes back into the dark room and look unhappily at the scruffiness created by a family of five. A home carefully planned and created and routinely destroyed. I try to remind myself how lucky I am; how other people might look around in envy at the signs of children, activity, company and security. But all I can see is chaos, jobs to be done and a never-ending cycle of monotonous, repetitive tasks. The sofa pads are heavily indented with huge, flat arse-shapes and need thumping and turning, there’s a child’s scribble on the wall and the windows are filthy. We still haven’t finished decorating. God we are useless. No – I’m useless. If my husband weren’t married to me, he would be so much more productive. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have married him. He could have had a nice home and a cheerful, energetic wife. How can I ever put things right and how could I have not noticed before how awful it all looks? The lack of light coming into the room mirrors my gloom and I wrap my free arm around my stomach only to sink into further misery as my hand meets inches of fat belly. Activity will make me thinner, happier and more energetic. My husband doesn’t deserve a fat wife. I try to think about how to summon energy and start the day.

    On these days I really do try very hard to shake myself free of negative thoughts and a sense of pointlessness, failure even. I don’t get any bright ideas, make up jokes or sing. I have to force myself to move although I feel like sleeping all day. I know what makes a person feel better: Exercise, fresh air, oily fish, positive thinking. A change of scenery. Laughter. A healthy digestive system. I sigh and think about the effort involved in getting out for a walk. I give myself an internal good-talking-to and plod into the kitchen with my half cup of luke-warm coffee where a child’s left-over pain-au-chocolate sits redundant on a baking tray. As if immediately ravenous I rip it in half, dunk it into my coffee and consume it within seconds. I secretly wonder if the evil beast visiting my brain today has made me do this purely so that I can punish myself later. And I will. Too much sugar, yeast and wheat make you feel sluggish you stupid woman. Yeah what the fuck. Who cares…
    With a huge deep breath in and more sighing I force my huge, heavy carcass to mount the stairs.

    Two or three hours later than the rest of the population (yes, the whole of the rest of the population! No one else is as weird or lazy or a backward as me! Everyone else is out there working and supporting their families or visiting elderly relatives, or has finished vacuuming and shopping by now and is weeding the garden. I am the slowest, the most useless of them all) I am finally showered and half dressed and still hating my stomach. I squeeze it and slap it. I will go for a walk. I will get some sea air, take some photos. Spring is happening out there. I will find it and I will cheer up. I must cheer up. Then I will come home and be active …. I will stop being miserable and obsessing about myself. I refuse to be controlled by whatever-this-is
    So of course it now begins to rain. Well it would, wouldn’t it… And now I’m hungry again.

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