Am feeling so stressed, I think I might cry. Maybe it is just the contrast with the weekend. Had rather a lovely weekend - fog flooded the shoreline then the hawthorn hedged fields till even the sound of the lambs disappeared but I like the fog. It was my tenth wedding anniversary on Friday and my husband arrived back from London at 11pm with louche pink peonies and tiny orange throated narcissi, the smell so sweet it ate up all the air. And champagne of course. He said: "Remember our wedding?" And I did remember - how could I forget? Then yesterday we went for a walk with the children into the round green hills, to the last English village before Scotland and no one said: "Do we have to?" and "Can we go back now?" Not even me.
But Monday came around as Mondays will, and I am suddenly pancake flat under a Post-it mountain of appointments, deadlines and expectations. And it is all my fault because I made the appointments and agreed to the deadlines and the expectations too, are all mine. Why though? Why do that to yourself? Why not say "Y'know, I don't think I can manage that, so guess what - I'm not doing it?" Is it because I am Thatcher's child? Or a working mother? Or is it a case of "Look at me and marvel as I drive myself entirely insane". If nothing untoward happens, I stagger on, but life itself is untoward - stuff does happen.
The only downside to the weekend was Saturday morning when the printer was not in when I went to pick up invitations to my book launch party. Did I laugh ruefully and say: "Golly, that's a bit inconvenient." I did not. I wrote a petulant note and pushed it through the letter box, wittering on that I had come three times and where exactly was he when he promised to be in. I then sulked for an hour about the fact I would miss the weekend slot which I had alloted to filling them out. My seven-year-old boy ran a crazy temperature last night and was too ill to go to school this morning. Did I think: "Ah well, a few snatched and precious hours with my beloved boy child"? I did not. Usually on a Monday morning, I go shopping with my daughter. I dropped off my other son at school then agonised about whether to do the right thing and go home and put the sick moppet to bed or whether I could drag him round the shops. I am Catholic - guilt fills up my soul. I calculated that if I took him shopping with me I might be stopped by a policeman or a truant officer and made to explain myself. That is to say - if he was well enough to take shopping he was well enough to go to school surely. Then again, I had no food in the fridge. What happens? I decide he is after all "not that ill" and drive to the local supermarket rather than trail round the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. I run into, not one mother from school, but two. I then have to explain why my child is filling up my trolley with groceries rather than his head with facts.