If I’ve managed to insert my photo, you’ll notice I look grumpy. If I haven’t, you can safely assume I look even grumpier.
It’s been a horrible Christmas. I’m not just talking about the virus from which we’re all suffering, the fact that I’m writing this at Tamworth services while we wait for the RAC to recharge our battery, or the endless bloody rain.
I’m talking about a family member slipping into mental illness; tears, bitterness, nastiness, tension that made every meal indigestible, scenes so disgusting we asked our daughter to stay in her room half the day. Calling the doctor horrible.
And because I’m a writer, I’m a traitor. Oh, I’m doing my best to help deal with the mess. I’m trying to calm everyone down. I was even the one who went to talk to the GP. But part of me is thinking, ‘I’ll use this. This is gold dust.’
I remember when I was in the West Bank. I’d inadvertently strayed into Jenin the day after the CIA had killed three Hezbollah activists. When I’d rolled down my window and asked directions, some locals tried to rock over the rental car.
But I was writing a poem about it AS I drove away. I didn’t want to forget any of the details.
There’s me. Then there’s the part that watches. She’s not all that engaged emotionally. She’s noting the exact colour of the blood and remembering the worst thing she’s ever heard anyone say.