Holiday season so far slightly disastrous. A week in France. Hmm, well, on the upside there was one day when nobody vomitted or wept courtesy of strange viral headache. So that was good. Seven-year-old's vomitting into tupperware box (luckily we had a lid) so extreme we were forced to divert into Accident and Emergency en route home. Finally arrived back in Northumberland on Sunday night, only to come down with bug myself Monday. That marks the end of holidays abroad until the children are teenagers and refuse to go with us anyway.
Week back working including pre-recorded appearance on the Steve Wright In the Afternoon Show. Steve Wright was very nice. Think I may have seemed utterly scatty on account of being in the grip of a protracted spell of insomnia. Arrived at London hotel around 1am, got to bed at 2am, got to sleep at 5am, woken up by hotel fire alarm 7.30am. Consequently so zombied out, I had to drink entire pot of tea with hotel breakfast then staggered into a cafe for a double espresso and a cappuccino chaser, followed by a BBC black coffee. This was not a good move. I pogo'd into a place where I completely lost my short-term memory. That is to say I would answer a question and, seconds later, be entirely unable to remember both my answer and the question itself. Later, over lunch in a dark Soho basement with my agent, he said "Pass me that bottle of water", pointing at a bottle of water slumped on the bench between me and the man sitting next to me. I shook my head slightly and said to my agent: "That's his water." I thought: "Why would you want to drink a stranger's water?" My agent said: "It's our bottle of water." I said: "It's his water." He said slowly: "It arrived on the table at the start of the meal and you put it on the bench. Can't you remember doing that? I am so not buying you any more coffee." That was the point I started worrying about what I might have said during the interview (time code o2:39ish on Wednesday, 13th).
Third week then - a wet week in Yorkshire. Despite various media attempts to paint me as a Cockney sparrow, I was born and bred in inner-city Leeds. When I was growing up, we would take the Jack Russell for a walk in the countrypark at the top of the hill, and whirl him round and round as he hung by his teeth from a slavery yellow rubber ball. Why would we drive to the Dales or the Moors? It was never thought of - watching Emmerdale was as close as we got. Now I am all grown-up, I thought: "I know we will go to Yorkshire for a holiday." I do not find staying in a hotel or holiday cottage with three children entirely stress-free so we decided instead to swap houses with friends. It is quite strange living in someone else's family home. It is as if you have woken up in someone else's life. Someone who has travelled more than we have (lots of mementoes from far away places), someone who is more musical than we are (three guitars and an electric piano), someone who doesn't watch as much TV as we do (no Sky). I thought: "Next time we do this, I am laying a false trail. I am hiding the widescreen TV and leaving lots of really heavyweight books on the state of the economy lying around the house. I am buying in health food that needs to be sprouted, and leaving a sex diary out in black leatherette all marked up with red asterisks and acronyms." That is, if I ever go away again, of course. I think I would have been more relaxed had my insomnia still not been so bad. My husband has started to complain that at the point I wake up (which tends to be around 1.30 to 2am), I have started beating a tattoo on his head (till I go back to sleep about three hours later). I do not mean to beat a tattoo, I am merely thinking about everything I have to do and occasionally I gesticulate. I need to turn off the narrative, but I wake up and the voice starts. Not voices. I do not hear voices. Just one voice - my own, talking about what it is I should be doing or have been doing or have entirely forgotten to do. I am incredibly dull company and outrageously persistent as dull company often proves to be.