Woke up hyperventilating like a hot pig way too early this morning, after a distinctly Dr Who-ish and rather terrifying nightmare. Lord H and I were in the desert which was full of large statues, some of which were in a museum also in the desert. I knew beyond any doubting that the large statue in front of the building was coming alive and intended to kill people. When it finally started walking, nobody would listen to my attempts to warn them - so Lord H and I went inside the museum where smaller statues were coming to life too. We attempted to find out if they were dangerous or not by communicating with them. But when they started to attack us, I tried to beat the thing to death, but it just wouldn't die. Thank the Lord I finally woke up! Haven't a clue what that all means, but hell it's been a difficult week and I do tend to have rather vivid dreams. Still, at least it meant I didn't have to wait for the alarm. There's always a positive side.
Back in the real world, I've spent most of today writing up yesterday’s minutes and sorting out the final versions of all the other minutes that seem to be outstanding at the moment. Plus worrying about the mysteries of the Personal Tutors’ Handbook updates – something which I feel is never going to please everyone, or possibly not anyone. It’s such a mysterious life, you know.
Took the University Writers’ Group at lunchtime – didn’t feel as jittery about it today as I usually do, probably due to the calming pills I took this morning. I never feel confident enough to chair this kind of group, but people do seem to keep coming to it. And we get some marvellous pieces of work, so it’s always an inspirational hour. At least for me.
And Ruth bought a radio for her campervan at last. Apparently she and Douglas have been making do by working their way through the musicals and have now come to the end of their combined repertoire. Thus raising the need for a radio. I suggested that it might be more fulfilling to record their own efforts and simply play them on loop, but Ruth has kept faith with the shop-bought option. Shame!
Tonight, I’m going to pop in to see Gladys for the five or ten minutes she can bear me – though it’s usually only two minutes before she starts shouting, sigh … I’m going to try a new approach this time – I thought I’d take some birdseed from home (which we never use anyway as we don’t have a garden) and fill up the bird-table outside her room. I know she likes looking at the birds when she can, so at least I can be doing something useful rather than just pissing her off. I'll keep the birdseed in the car and fill the table up whenever I visit, as the seed I took for her before seems to have vanished. Anyway, it’s a plan. UPDATE: It worked, sort of. She didn't start shouting at me until four minutes had gone by. I think I confused her by not saying hello initially and just doing the bird-table thing straight off. Sigh. Still, I suppose that's progress, but I have to admit I'm not really liking the hugely crotchety and difficult old lady she's suddenly turned into. Is it something nursing homes put in their tea? Perhaps it's a new Government directive? Hell, it wouldn't surprise me. In the meantime, the vicious, mean and downright nasty part of myself wonders why Gladys didn't die, and Penny live. Again, it's a mystery.
Once back at home, I might even try to add a few sentences to Hallsfoot’s Battle as I haven’t done any for so long – or that’s how it seems – and I’ve forgotten entirely what’s supposed to be happening or who anyone is. Still, that’s never stopped me before. Besides, there’s nothing on TV. Again.
I've just finished Dai Vaughan's Germs - a collection of 77 short stories which is well worth a read. They're all very short so if you don't like one, another will be along pretty damn soon. Hurrah! Some of them were utterly superb and some left me utterly confused, but there's something very human about them. And Story 53 - entitled "Manna" - was the second totally perfect short story I've ever read in my life. Bliss. The other, to my mind, is "Blackthorn Winter" which appears in Esme Ashford's On the Edge, a collection published by Goldenford. High-Five to us then!
Today’s nice things:
1. Having a day when nobody appears to have died, thank the Lord
2. Writers’ Group