Today I have been rather melancholy. I think it’s a combination of lots of things. Work starts in earnest tomorrow, and the children are back at school on Tuesday. I was going to use the holidays to do a lot of preparation for various projects I am starting this term. Instead I spent a week being ill and a week reading things I wanted to read out of sheer perversity.
Our house purchase has stalled due to incompetence beyond our control, and our completion date is being pushed further and further towards the time we must leave this house, leaving us less time to do any work to the new house without us in it.
We still haven’t exchanged, which worries me, as there is absolutely no security until we do, and we are living on a shoe string, chewing our nails to flinders and waiting, waiting, waiting like patience on a monument, but without the patience, so much.
The To Let board on this house got hammered into the lawn on Friday. It was rather sobering. I am praying everything goes smoothly now. Everything is ready from our side, at least as far as conveyancing goes. We’re just waiting on them, and until we move forward I cannot book a removal firm or apply for Tilly’s school, or do any one of a hundred things that I know need doing, but which are just lurking around in my head in a general miasma of anxiety.
We have been to Ikea and looked mournfully at sofas and shouted at the shoddiness of wardrobes. Wardrobes we need, but I despise them as a piece of furniture anyway, making it even harder to find one that doesn’t make me want to throw myself onto the floor and wail.
The only wardrobes I like are either so expensive I cannot afford them, or open up into the realms of Narnia.
Thus rendering them entirely unsuitable for storing anything other than the fur coats I do not own.
I do not want to spend hundreds of pounds on wardrobes. I want to buy ten foot high gilded mirrors, and chaise longues, and icons of obscure Russian saints, and super king sized sleigh beds carved out of cherry wood.
And I found out on Friday that a man I used to know, and who was always courteous and polite and kind to me when I was in business, and helped me out on a number of occasions, died suddenly last week. He was only fifty, and died three weeks after the initial diagnosis of an aggressive form of cancer. I hadn’t seen him for a few years; now that I am no longer in the world of work, our paths tended not to cross, but I am very sorry to hear the news, and it has made me a trifle sad.
So I am feeling sad.
And it is alright. And it will pass.
And yesterday I had a wonderful day with Andrea, who I haven’t seen since our boiler went bang. So things are not all doom and gloom.
We went to London, to the National to see the new Alan Bennett play ‘People’, which was fun, but not his best work, and the most wonderful play, ‘The Effect’, by the playwright Lucy Prebble, who wrote the award winning play Enron, which I have not seen, but now would love to see.
We went to see The Effect because it was directed by Rupert Goold, who we love. It was in The Cottesloe, the smallest of the National’s three theatres, and the one which they can basically rip apart at the seams to do anything they want with. This time we were actually sitting in the set, which was done up like a very posh waiting room.
The play was about two young people ( Jonjo O’Neill and Billie Piper), who are in the clinic of a pharmaceutical company, having agreed to trial a new anti depressant drug for four weeks. The play explores our relationship with both depression and joy, love and hate, and also the complicated relationship between patients and their doctors and the larger relationships we have with drug companies.
It was absolutely fascinating. The acting was brilliant, the play was thoughtful and thought provoking, the set was amazing, and really it was the best thing I’ve seen in ages.
We both loved it.
And we ate a lot of good food. As well as recommending that you go and see The Effect if you can possibly get tickets, I would also urge you to pop into the BFI cafe and have a portion of their key lime pie. It was divine, and life would be a lot less rich and diverting if it weren’t for things like that, don’t you agree?