I have just realised that soon I have to attend three 'events' on three consecutive days. This means giving my attention to the matter of CLOTHES. Having spent many years renovating houses and running smalloldings with my husband in England and France, the matter of clothes, let alone smart clothes was never a subject that raised its ugly head. Working outside in the blazing hot French summer heat, there was no call for fancy clothing, not much more than a nod to a pair of shorts and skimpy T shirt. At the other extreme, on the windswept hillside of a remote Durham dale, a thick boiler suit, coat, fur hat and fur-lined wellies were the order of the day. Hannah Hauxwell eat your heart out. You had nothing on me in the glam stakes.
But - as I dip a toe in the literary waters, it is borne in on me that neither of my previous dress modes will fit the bill. My wardrobe, in a nutshell (and you could probably fit it in one), is pathetic. The trouble is, I really detest clothes shopping. Take me into an antiques/bric-a-brac emporium or bookshop and you could collect me a week later and even then I might have to be dragged out by the hair. But take me into a clothes shop ... my eyes glaze over and my spirits droop. Droop? Nay, they sink to my boot-strap bottoms. I am lost and bewildered by the sartorial array on offer and frankly haven't a clue where to start. So I either lose heart altogether and scuttle out again sharpish, or grab the first item I see in my size and hope it will do. Don't even mention style. It's a foreign country. But now I need more than a fig-leaf to cover myself with and will have to make a vague stab at looking presentable.
So I am girding up my loins to go and visit my sister. She is tall and elegant and has taste and style in abundance. She will take me by the hand (I am five years old again, out shopping and my little legs going like pistons trying to keep up with her long-legged stride). She will lead me with superb and knowledgeable assurance around these emporiums of fashion, make me stand up straight, (five foot two if I make an effort on a really good day), whilst she tries outfits against me and then ghastly of ghastlies, make me try them on in the shop. Getting dressed once in the morning is fine, but having to try on a succesion of outfits all in one day is my punishment on this earth. Upon death, purgatory will not need to open its doors for me. I will have paid my dues by enduring this clothes-horse exercise now. But my sister and I come out of the same mould and tenacity in a given task comes naturally to us. She, God bless her heart, will stick with it until I am clothed and shod to her liking and fit to turn out into the world.
So Cinderella will go to the ball, even if she can't go in her old Barbour jacket and wellies.
Yes, after supper last night I succumbed and scoffed my favourite milk chocolate. So what? So I haven't eaten any chocolate for a couple of months and then I suddenly eat a lot and woo-hoo, what a sugar rush. Only inconveniently for me, it occured for most of the night and kept me awake, but interestingly, appeared to boost my creativity no end. Or is it just that in the quiet of the night, a rested brain gets the opportunity to boot up its creative side? In that case have I just made the case for chocolate not making any difference and can't use that as my excuse next time my creativity flags?
A new character and his wife appeared from nowhere. What a lovely little man he is. Small, rotund, with glasses and boy he never shuts up. Hes' a slightly mad philatelist. Not that I am equating all philatelists with madness. Mild eccentricity maybe. I should know, I'm married to one and he could provide material for several books. He hasn't got a name yet, my new character. He did instantly have a name, but I know some folks with the same name and they wouldn't be flattered. He's a real sweetie and I look forward to him appearing here and there in the book.
I also had ideas re. that first scene again. Don't ask me why, but a horse performing dressage comes into my mind. First I was going forward with the scene, then writing it backwards way on and now I feel I'm trottng sideways with it. Move over Charlotte du Jardin, I'm coming through.
So what to conclude? Does chocolate promote creativity or was it co-incidental? Do I eat more chocolate and have a short life but a happy one as my cholesterol goes through the roof? Maybe not. I can't stand the wakeful nights. I am like a wet weekend this morning whilst my husband, who had a great nights sleep, is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and so annoyngly bouncy he makes tigger look like a slacker. Maybe next time I'm drawn to the chocolate I'll settle for just a couple of squares. As my mother used to say 'moderation in all things darling'. Maybe she knew a thing or two.