Saturday, 9 October 2021

The wavering mind

Don't know about you but I sometimes have days where I can pass from near bliss to gloom within a few moments, usually happening after some tedious email or a bit too much internet wandering.

Yesterday, I was pootling along quite happily doing jobs, leaf-raking, making lists, bit of writing, bit of admin, sweeping out our building site (gite project) when I sat down to check my emails - at the moment I have to curb the checking as I have sent out quite a few submissions to literary agents . . . anyway, I sat down and poked the computer into life to find: a rejection, written with excessively bad grammar it must be said; a desperate offer from Ryanair to claim a last bit of Greek sun, something from some smug bugger called Kelvin offering revamp my website and . . . our insurance company doing a special offer on funeral planning. That was it, I could feel the tendrils of gloom reaching out to me and within twenty minutes I was fully into: 'What's it all about' mode - relatively easy in our current times when every click onto the Guardian page reveals more planet-devastation, cruelty, misuse of public money and general chaos. 

I tried full on clearing up, more rigorous admin - even digging into the recesses of the in-tray, serious bank account reality check - (not a good move), researching about insulation in afore-mentioned gite (scary, cost-wise), but although the waters of depression had been stemmed and just a light trickle was escaping I decided more radical action was needed: a bike ride up to our bio veg growing friend and to offer help in exchange for supper-veg. And it worked, as it always does. An hour and a half later I had helped him weed his lines of lettuce with a very impressive 'hoe with wheel' item, and picked 'bouquets' of parsley and coriander for his market trip in the morning. Not a huge thing but somehow the gloom simply evaporated, partially though the exercise and mediative nature of working with soil and plants, partly through helping someone else rather than dwelling on one's own inadequacies and worries.

I returned with my carefully chosen misshaped veg so not to take away from his beautiful market produce, made a huge garlicky salad and enjoyed a peaceful evening with Ezra, rounded off with an episode of Detectorists -another gloom evaporator if you haven't had the pleasure of watching the series.



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