Getting back to work wasn't as bad as I'd feared on Monday, although I had a terrible headache in the afternoon and had to come home early just in order to go to sleep to try to get rid of the thing. Yes, I did take the usual pills but sadly they didn't work. Felt better on Tuesday though, but I made sure I got out for a walk at lunchtime which helped, and I kept working at the computer without my glasses now and again as I felt it staved off any return of the headache moment. Might need to get my eyes retested, as it does seem to be the work screen, or maybe the overhead lights, that's setting it off at the moment - as the home computer is fine.
Have switched my working days this week as I've attended the funeral for the father of one of the University Janes today, which was sad but expected as he really hadn't been well. Had a very difficult journey there and back though - I got terribly confused and ended up on the M4 instead of the M40 on the way there, so panicked and got hugely stressed and headed to Heathrow as I thought I ought to be able to pick up the M25 again there. Which I did do, but the traffic was horrendous and I nearly had an accident twice. Lordy. The funeral was difficult too, as these things are, but Jane gave a very good eulogy, which impressed me as I don't think I'd ever be able to do that. Ever. It brought back memories of my own father's funeral too - odd how the death of friend's mothers, though sad of course, doesn't quite hit home in the way the death of the older men does. Also there were people there whom I haven't seen for ages and who, to be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to. But it was okay in the end - we chatted a bit and then I left, as I didn't want to stay for the post-funeral lunch. God, but I'm never sure what those things are for but, anyway, I had to get back. Not sure either how I feel about said people - it feels like history now, to be honest, which I suppose is healthy, rather than being stressed out about it all. Still, the end of friendships can be a difficult stage to negotiate - someone ought to write a book about it.
On the way home, I managed to get lost too - my brain was a total blank and I was finding it tricky to keep (a) alert and (b) awake. Never a good way to be driving really. I found myself in a road I didn't recognise at all, saw a Dog Rescue Centre (of all places!) and stopped to ask them directions. Hell, they must be used to stressed-out strays flocking at their doors, as they were super-nice and gave me directions to get back to the M25 which even I could understand, thank the Lord. And I don't even like dogs.
Today, we've also put the house back on with another estate agent, even though we're still considering the part-exchange and new house option - on the grounds that it does no harm to keep all the options open. I don't feel very confident about any of it though, but didn't have the energy to do anything beyond just agree with most of what the new agent was saying - though I'm proud of the fact that I kicked him into touch about price - we've already dropped it three times and it's now on at £209,995, and I'm not going any lower until we've at least seen the New Year in. Besides, the other agent we had in to look at the part-exchange price quoted us £225,000 so I still think it's a snip.
I've sent back the completed edits for Brady's Choice to the publisher, and that's due out on 23 January. I'm quite pleased with it as it's more meditative and grown-up in some ways than my other gay short stories. We'll have to see if readers agree though.
The Hit List was at No 47 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts during the week and can also be purchased directly from the publisher at a 25% discount during December.
Meanwhile, A Dangerous Man found itself at No 29 in the Amazon UK charts and at No 78 in the Amazon US Kindle charts, so thank you to those who are buying it. It was also, much to my delight, showcased at Erotic Horizon Books on Monday, so thank you, EH, for that. Much appreciated.
This week's meditations so far are:
is never seen
but vanishes into air
like the first mist
you hardly know it.
are a single arrow
shot through clear air
framing bright sky
for a heartbeat
and landing silent
upon the waiting earth.
at the heart
is simply the need
never to be