random jottings (3.2.16) JohnnyFox February 3, 2016 Other Writing The skies are bright and the trees unbent, but it’s not a day I want to go out. With the light outside and the artificial indoor heat I can pretend it’s summery and sit about in shorts. I can almost hear the silence. Apart from when a plane takes off, and they’re infrequent in the afternoons, there’s no sound. I can see people in the park and know they’re shouting but the double-glazing makes them mutes. There are days, particularly when I’ve been travelling, when I just want to be home and ‘touch my things’. Although it’s twenty feet away, I’m enjoying the scent of a bunch of early daffs brought to fullness on the kitchen window cill and perfectly distributed in its round vase, each stem following the next in soldierly sequence. It’s not a ‘clean sheets day’ – their freshly laundered crispness arrives only on Saturdays – but I’ve aired the pillows on the balcony until the admittedly less than brand-new Siberian goose down achieves some of the lightness, and the chill, of the place from which it allegedly came. And a book. I’m reading a David Leavitt for my book club and whilst I’m not quite savouring the prose which is anecdotal and arch, as though David Sedaris, whose work I like and who wants to write like that, were reading it aloud in my head,. Instead I’m appreciating the way my bottom sits tightly in the white linen covers of the sofa and reflecting on the luxury that I can do this, on a Wednesday afternoon, when almost everyone I know is at work. I have an itch. No, not that, well always that but I can ignore that. My arms itch. Furiously. I’m sometimes inclined to scratch till they bleed and it sounds like madness or self harm but it’s apparently a ‘normal’ reaction to some popular and inexpensive medicament with which I’ve been saddled for life by a GP anxious to tick boxes on his NHS annual return. Maybe I’ll seek ayurvedic advice or try one of those strange Chinese herbalists in the West End that look like a combination of a plywood-partitioned hen-coop and a knocking shop. There’s a crack in the plaster on the wall opposite, and two of the light bulbs in the display cabinet need changing. One of those requires the process of finding a contractor, inviting quotations, scheduling work and paying for it – the other requires fetching bulbs from the drawer in the kitchen and standing on a chair, but both seem too much effort. It’s easier to adopt the approach of mindfulness, and – what did he say in those classes I went to – allow the thought to arise and be there, but not to affect you. I have power over bulbs. As superpowers go, it’s not quite up there with ‘leaps buildings in a single bound’ and I’m sure wouldn’t come with a lycra suit and a lightning-flash logo, but actually it does represent a move on from the anxieties and thoughts I’d had before trying this out. It’s taken me eighteen minutes to write 500 words. A good start.