Monday, 13 January 2014


A better day today.

Still no sleep - haven't had a proper night's sleep since last Tuesday, and last night had no sleep at all. This hasn't been anything directly connected with this cancer thang, but to other stuff going on. A crisis, to which I reacted badly.

OK, so I went to the allotment and saw - not what I had feared I'd see, which was a disaster area - but quite a lot needs doing.

Some of it looked kind of fun.

There were also some rewards: treats. Picked sprouts, and pulled some gorgeous fat carrots. Then came home with booty after chatting to the old chap with the blue blue eyes (I can't remember his name).

I like the allotment when it's just a big larder, essentially, the weeds are not growing much, and all we have to do is walk up and get stuff. I'm more a forager than a grower.

But we stocked the larder: hard work last spring and summer got us this.

Then... something else I'd been dreading, easing back into the novel. And I quite enjoyed it.

I tend to beat myself up a bit with writing as duty, especially at the moment when it's my job. BUT oh Lord when it's pleasurable it's really really pleasure. Lots of ideas, suddenly. Too many, of course, to pursue, but the last 4 days I've had none except dark ones unrelated to writing or researching.

It's said that Iris Murdoch and another writer whose name escapes me once got into a conversation about how much they enjoyed writing. Murdoch said 'Oh yes - but you must never tell anyone.'

Perhaps I should think of it as my guilty secret hedonistic pleasure, rather than my guilty undischarged responsibility...

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