Have not felt like blogging much lately, frankly have not felt like doing much at all. I have been ticking the boxes, just enough to get by. I do go through these blue spells. I wish I was a dimpled, sunny-faced, cheery sort of gal - someone life-affirming who makes you feel better just to be with. Not the sort that thinks: "I could hang myself in the coal shed if only I could find the key." It is overdue but I have decided to get a grip. I need a plan. I do not function at all well without a plan. I shall invade Russia( - though that has been done before and never proves to be a good idea.) I shall lose weight (- though that would mean less cake.) I shall find the key to the coal cellar (- perhaps not.) I will sit down and see if I can do it all again - by which I mean write another book, and who knows?. Maybe I cannot write another book? Maybe "That's all folks!"? If so, I resolve not to complain. I have little excuse (other than my naturally maudlin disposition) for feeling lost. UK sales have gone well and the book is now out in the US. I got to write a few pieces for The Times and even more importantly for the Farmers Weekly. Who knew I would get to write a piece for the Farmers Weekly? The book also prompted an old friend to get in touch. I last saw him 20 years ago. It turns out he is trying to find a cure for stomach cancer and was over from Canada to speak at a conference. Over coffee in a London cake shop the conversation went: "So what have you been doing with yourself for the last 20 years?" "Trying to find a cure for cancer. And you?" Pause. "Umm, I set up a blog and winge a lot on it." And he was happy and married and had children, and there infront of me was the man when all I had known was the boy.
What else happened? Well, it rained. A farmer told me of 1,000 sheep and 250 cows drowned. Land too is waterlogged with crops sprouting again in the fields, and combine harvesters idle in their barns. For some, the rains have been a domestic and financial disaster. The other evening driving back from the city with the three kids in the car, we could not make it home. The country roads around here dip and rise and swerve. The sodden fields were bordered with lakes, spilling through the hawthorn hedges to fill neighbour roads. We drove round as dusk took the day, trying first one lane, then another; each time, the road plunged into bleak stretches of wrinkled water. At one point, I pulled on my boots and waxed jacket to push through the flood to judge how far the water came up, and whether we could make it across. Too high. Defeated, I turned back towards the car. I stood and in that moment, it seemed too far away, the headlights on, the wipers smashing the rain haze away, rising up and away again. Still a mile or so away from home, we knocked on a friend's door and her husband got us back in his 4X4. That night, I dreamed I drowned.