I have a million things to do this week and none of the energy.

My batteries are well and truly flat. It turns out that it is not possible to run yourself ragged all week, spend your weekend partying hard and come home relaxed and refreshed – not any more.

The only things keeping me going this morning are mini Malteser Bunnies and black coffee.

I shall be insane by tea time.

Back in the day I used to survive on three hours sleep a night, hit all my deadlines and still party like a demon. Most of my best and most incisive work was done between the hours of 2 and 4.00 a.m. when I mentally got out of my own way and wrestled wild and free with the big issues of the day.

Now, by half past ten I am weeping into a tea towel and forgetting my own name.

I go to bed and either fall asleep with my book welded to my face after having failed to read the same paragraph three times in a row, or stay up, fretting needlessly about the world’s most trivial things.

Things like the shop sign I came across yesterday in the village my friend lives in.  It was a gifte shoppe that resided in a kind of half timbered Tudorbethan building and which belonged to Joyce.

Joyce is a purveyor of tasteful party supplies. Her sign, antique gold lettering on an eau de nil background, said that she had balloons, party invitations, greeting cards and crucially:



I became utterly obsessed by Joyce’s napkins. Bewilderingly interested in them.  We discussed them over brunch. I pondered them on the train platform. I thought about them as I went to sleep.

I was still thinking about them when I woke up.

I did not dream about them. I dreamed about digging out a canal basin.

Go figure.

Anyway, back to Joyce and her napkins. Firstly she advertised them, on a sign, like napkins are hugely important, and then she capitalised them, which makes them even more important. Joyce is clearly very into napkins.  She is probably more obsessed by napkins than I am about Joyce and her relationship with napkins.  She obviously thinks they are a key component to a successful party.

Further on in the sign, she encourages you to come in and browse.

You can browse napkins! This blows my mind. The idea of having enough different sorts of napkins so that they are featured heavily in your advertising AND you can browse them.

Sadly the shop was shut, or I would have gone straight in and demanded to see Joyce’s vast array of napkins.

I imagine a room, possibly in the basement, because the shop itself was rather weeny (and extensive peering through the window by me did not alert me to the massed presence of multiple napkins), in which there are filing cabinets full of napkins of every possible hue and design.

It is possible that she has so many napkins that actually you have to consult a microfiche of the catalogue of the napkins available.

I wonder if my failure to grasp the true significance of the napkin as a party accessory is why my party throwing has always been a little desultory? The bright orange ones from Ikea because they were cheap and you can buy them in bulk, have clearly been what is hampering me from being the Martha Stewart of Knighton.

I am going to send my friend Claire on a reconnaissance mission to scope out Joyce’s napkin stash.

Also, what is the ‘AND MUCH MORE?’ She alludes to in the signage?

I NEED to know this.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s