Oh the memories food brings. I have just been unwell, in the horrid ‘in the bathroom half the night’ way. It was a condition which much afflicted my childhood. As the blessed moment once again came, when I could seize an glass of water and drain it, without disgust or nausea, and once again taste that it was actually almost sweet, I remembered how that moment would so often come in the dead dark of night, or as the first stirrings of dawn were nearly visible to hot eyes seeking the window.
I no longer have any devoted nurse, so today I got up and considered food, as a way of putting some strength into wobbling legs. In the end it boiled down to a choice between my grandmother’s stand by of bread-and-milk, or my mother’s chocolate egg custard. I had forgotten just how delicious chocolate egg custard can be. I had totally forgotten the crispy bits round the edge of the dish, which are always the best bit.
I am much restored.
I am not very sympathetic to the idea of emotions playing a part in writing. I never had a muse, I never waited for inspiration. In writing, my hero was Anthony Trollope who rose early and wrote every morning before work whether he wanted to or not. Then he went off and put in a full day at the Post Office and invented the postbox and whatnot. He was somewhat helped by the fact that the Post Office started at ten am and he was often late for work, but there you go.
But this summer, everything I wrote turned to led in my hands. Even stories. Oh I could re-tell stories I had written earlier, but nothing creative would come, and a blessed nuisance it was, and made all the worse, because I had many requests to write small articles to publicise my recently-published book. Each and every one of these turned to sawdust on my keyboard. I knew it and could not change it. Oh I could do the work to the deadline all right, but I just could not make the article readable.
It was the same last weekend. I was working on a talk on Bute’s later buildings, and there was as much life in it as in a cardboard stew. Then, yesterday, I began revising it and while it did not suddenly become delicious, I started to get the glimmerings of flavour. Yesterday evening I wrote in a short time frame, the first piece which had any life in it that I have written in months. The relief was overwhelming. I am hopeful I am once again able to face writing in the evenings when tired and in the mornings when short of time
Gentle reader, this blog is back.