Today, I wagged off work. For a whole hour! I ventured beyond the front door to kerb-crawl round an out-of-town retail park on the hunt for a Scooby Doo costume. (Not for me, obviously). I also wanted to procure picture hooks – not because I have an urgent need to hang a picture but because I woke up in the small hours, panicking because I didn’t have any. (Why? Why??) This, I think, is a manifestation of my Christmas Anxiety Displacement Coping Mechanism. Oh yes. Instead of worrying about my preparations (or lack of) for the festive season, I obsess about meaningless details, like small items of ironmongery I don’t actually need. Also, it could be argued that because I wasn’t working, I was overwhelmed by the nature of Outside and forgot what I was meant to be buying. I blinked, uncertain, in the blinding sunlight of the car park, trying to focus on the Toys R Us logo like a partially-sighted person who’d just undergone miraculous laser surgery, aware of the wind on my face, the sharp smell of winter and the chance to communicate.
Reader, I don’t get out much. And lately, work’s been MENTAL which means I’ve been in the studio rather more than is healthy (my skin has gone grey and I have permanent ‘headphone hair.’) Even my usual knockabout banter with Rich Sweetman has suffered. (One of the prerequisites of banter is that it generally needs two people to be present in order for it to be a success…) So I took a radical step and booked some free time into the diary, just so I could be with other humans.
My accountant came over today to square off my VAT return and I think I frightened him with my crazed cheerfulness and manic stare. I was so grateful of the chance to chat! His professionalism didn’t err though, even when I suggested a game of ‘Twister’ in an attempt to develop the theme of personal interaction.
I think the events of the past couple of weeks have – to use the vernacular – twisted my melon. My working life has changed because the work I do now has such a varied texture. I’m doing a lot of different kinds of work for all sorts of clients, as well as the usual stuff I’ve been doing for ages. There’s still a fair bit of media interest in the story, not least because of the latest development, and this part of my work is something new to experience.
But part of the upshot of this is that I’m not as Christmasly organised as I should be. Usually, I’m the nauseating type of person who’s bought, labelled and wrapped everything before August. Not this year. And what am I doing to rectify the situation?
Buying picture hooks.