Week-end: fasting

A large model cow, painted lilac and decorated with hearts in the colours of various Pride flags and words associated with LGBTQ+ identities, standing on a rainy pavement.

The good

Daffodils. Birds. Loads of writing. The satisfaction of getting shot of some stuff that was cluttering up the place.

The mixed

My short story got rejected. But it was for exactly the reason I expected: it’s way too long and really it wants to be a novel. And the editor really liked it apart from the fact that it was way too long. So. I now find myself with several projects that are well on the way to being something substantial, and I probably need to prioritise.

The difficult and perplexing

Fasting glucose tolerance test. No food from 10pm on Thursday night, train to Cambridge, blood test, glucose drink, hour’s wait, blood test, hour’s wait, blood test. Not my idea of a fun Friday morning, and I felt a bit skew-whiff all the rest of the day. Now we wait to see if I have gestational diabetes. I really hope not.

Train delays at the most inconvenient moment possible. And a decision that was going to result in awkward questions whichever way it went.

What’s working

Early nights. Bathing/showering in the evenings. Saying what I’m not prepared to do.


Last week I remembered to report my Sunday reading and forgot about the weekdays, in which I finished Death in Cyprus. It was rather an unsatisfactory read: I wanted to slap pretty much everybody; it was incredibly cruel to the older, unattractive character; and the resolution pulled an element out of (so far as I could see) absolutely nowhere. I think Death in Berlin was better.

Still persevering with These Violent Delights.

And I got through most of the latest London Review of Books in between blood tests.


More on Don’t Quit The Day Job. It’s quite easy writing: at the moment I’m just expounding on my own writing process in an extremely self-indulgent fashion. I’ve only just got all my longhand typed up this evening. What I must do on Monday is rearrange things to fit the new structure.

Thinking about

The myth of the heroic intervention. This came up three times in two days and I think it probably needs a post.


I have the house to myself at the moment and have taken advantage of that fact and got out the sewing machine to do some American-style patchwork. I think my original plan was somewhat overambitious but I’m having fun with the modified pattern.


Darning a pair of socks, very slowly.

Looking at

An exhibition about the history of Addenbrooke’s after my fasting glucose test.


Soup! I adore soup and it is a thousand times less faff in the pressure cooker. I made one with cauliflower and parmesan on Thursday and one with red lentils and Swiss chard this evening.


The above, plus various things excavated from the freezer. Having got the yoghurt to work last week, I’ve been adding apple sauce, plums, etc. And I made the remains of some roast pork into a sort of stew.


I managed what used to be my usual walk without having to sit down at least once this week! And I have been getting out for it every morning I’ve been working from home.


Robins all over the place, sitting in trees and announcing their presence. Blackbirds, too, and (I think) a bullfinch. And I don’t know whether the decorated cow (whose name, I learned from the information sheet, is Moosha P. Cambridge) has only just arrived outside Sessions House, or if I haven’t been that far along the road, but either way I only noticed her today. Isn’t she magnificent?

In the garden

Got my act together and removed some compost from the Hotbin (the top end was steaming away very happily). Also, not exactly the garden, but I sowed some herb seeds in a pot in the conservatory. Maybe this is the year I get fresh parsley to survive…


Increased energy levels. Soup. Refilling a jar with ground coriander for 32p.


A bird feeder, the sort made of square mesh to hold peanuts, with a cage around it to keep squirrels out. On getting it home I discovered that we do not in fact have any peanuts. I was sure we did. Never mind. I also got some herb seeds and a nice terracotta pot with multiple holes (see In the garden).

Line of the week

From Theirs and No One Else’s (Nicholas Spice) in the London Review of Books:

There’s a performance of the Prelude to Lohengrin, conducted by Claudio Abbado towards the end of his life, where the orchestra moves like water weed in the current of a river or grassland in a breeze.

Saturday snippet

I wrote and I kept going, wrote and gave up, wrote and wrote and despaired and regained hope and started writing again.

This coming week

I have vague ambitions to Get The House Sorted Out and Get Those Things Drafted and also to Do Some More Patchwork. I also have an appointment to see the midwife and, as mentioned above, should get the results of my glucose test.

Anything you’d like to share from this week? Any hopes for next week? Share them here!