Writing, I am discovering, is basically like writing up. A perpetual task that hangs over you Damocles stylee and makes you feel generically guilty and restless if you’re doing literally anything else. However, I keep reminding myself that writing is my hobby, wot I do for funz, and the rest of my life, like friends, playing Far Cry 3 and watching Castle, (omg, how much do I LOVE Castle) is important too. And something I should enjoy wholeheartedly, without the sense I should be doing something else instead.
I still remember handing in and walking slowly down the Exam School steps, feeling too dazed to actually feel free or happy or grateful, and overhearing some other dude – who had also just finished – saying to his friend: “No, I’d really love to come to dinner with you but I’ve literally forgotten how to interact with people.” Maybe it was just the nicest brush-off in the world but, given my slightly fanatical personality, that could totally be me and I probably wouldn’t even notice.
So progress has been pretty slow these last few weeks – but I think it feels worse than it is, due to my double-fisting habits. That is a phrase that people use, right? It’s not something you’d EVER say in England because people would freak out immediately, but an American friend of mine said it recently while holding two drinks (causing a stampede of ‘I beg your pardon’). So I’m at about 50k on TWO thingies – which puts me about 20-30k from the end of one of them and probably in the wilderness of the middle of the other, since it has grown into some squid-like thing of vastness and flailing. Which has left me somewhat daunted but I shall rally.
I’m also deep in the middle of STUFF. Work has been busy (but in a good way, I’m blessed NOT to have an evil dayjob and I do, in fact, love what I do) and things keep popping up for me to do. Yesterday was H’s birthday, and we played Warhammer all day long. I mean, not just the two of us, that would be weird. But I invited over a bunch of university friends and extreme nerdery happened. We fought spacezombies, it wan’t something I’d have chosen to do for myself, but it was kinda fun and I got to talk in a stupid Russian accent about how likely it was we were all going to die. What can I say, I make my own entertainment. And on Friday I ended up playing spontaneous tourist to a random American and his three extraordinarily fit sisters. He was just some guy who crashed over one evening (I tend to adopt strangers, one of these days I’m going to get murdered) and I got a text in the middle of the afternoon, saying basically: ‘sorry for the short notice, but I’m in your city with my entire family, I’d really like it if you had time to meet them’. This was so outside my English comfort zone that I absolutely had to go. Now, the fellow in question was kind of adorably if slightly regrettably dorky so you can imagine my surprise – and joy – when his sisters turned out to be a smorgasbord of delights. H and I walked home afterwards, bickering over which one we’d want, because we are basically pigs. H wanted the family Lydia, and I wanted the family Lizzie, so it worked out pretty well. I mean, it would have worked out hypothetically pretty well had we actually thought dividing up someone’s family for our personal harem was remotely acceptable behaviour.
So I’d been braced for deep awfulness but it turned out to be positively lovely. It was freezing cold and pouring rain and late afternoon so it wasn’t like I could fling wide the doors of the city for them, but I managed to inveigle us into various of the important touristy places. I felt secretly quite awesome actually because occasionally flashing your credentials and being all ‘Hi, I am this person, I studied here and work here’ gets you nothing but a cold blink and a ‘we’re closed’ but I was lucky and everyone was incredibly nice to me, thus creating an entirely erroneous impression I was important. They were all gloriously enthusiastic and loved everything and, although I try not to take where I live for granted, the fact is, I sometimes do. It was nice to remember how lucky I am, and how wonderful this place is. I guess it was kind of like when you’ve been going out with someone for a long time and someone else hits on them. And you remember suddenly how amazingly hawt and special your partner is.
I’ll also be visiting family with H Way Oop North over Easter, which is massively inconvenient but family is family. Also I should probably catch up with some old friends while up there, even though it is always utterly horrific to meet people who knew you before you were the person you are now. But I shall be brave. On the other hand, I have tried to console myself by booking an insanely expensive room in a castle.
A four poster bed will console me for a lot, frankly.