Oh it’s you! Come away in ( as we say in these parts) and put the kettle on. You’ll have had your…NO, I won’t say that. There’s some highly alcoholic Christmas cake on the worktop if you like the semi-lethal combination of brandy, icing, marzipan, dried fruit, candied peel and butter. Several slabs of that and I regret not one morsel.
Yes, I know. It’s all so new, isn’t it? A few hours, actually. Yes, the move was rather sudden, but you know, when I finally went back to my old place at fiddleandpins.blogspot.co.uk, the Google militia had changed the locks and put their fingerprints all over my things. So I’ve cut my losses. I had to leave some precious things behind, but they’re only things.
In case you’re in the dark as to what I’m on about,
a. I’ve moved my blog to WordPress in the hope that I won’t have to hack my way through a thicket of passwords just in time for whatever I wanted to blog about to disappear out of my increasingly colander-ish memory
b. I wanted to be able to discuss different content to that under discussion at fiddleandpins.blogspot.co.uk. That blog is hosted by my website, which in turn is put together by the lovely people at Bloomsbury Publishing, so the old blog’s main content is picture book related and fit for children to read
c. I hope by moving out from under the Google/Blogger umbrella that I will lose the impression that my every keystroke is going into some vast Google-data-mine, but I think this is a bit of a stretch
d. And finally, I hope that Mel will forgive me for moving house, and will still drop by for the occasional chat, even if I don’t talk much about knitting any more
So. I’m here today because in two days time ( 12th January) I’ll be introducing a brand new book called ‘Night Shift’. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before, and much as I’d love to lurk in your local bookstore, recommending it to you, I can’t, like Santa Claus, be everywhere at once. And besides, irritating authors who pop up in bookstores and recommend their own stuff are embarrassing . Instead, for Night Shift’s coming out ball/ day/occasion, I’m going to take to the ether and blog about it. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about why I wrote it and hopefully post a picture of the gorgeous cover design; on publication day, I’ll show some extra drawings that didn’t go into the book and for as long as I can manage to keep going, I’ll talk about what happened to me and why this book is at once highly personal but at the same time, something I hope will be useful and will be shared by lots of people just like me ; people who have suffered, are suffering or are looking after someone who suffers from depressive illness. And that was a sentence and a half.
I’m also going to try to post one thing we can do each day to help ourselves. I’m aware that I’m writing from a position of immense privilege ; I’m warm and dry and there’s food in the cupboards. But it doesn’t matter – depressive illness is so all-encompassing, recognising no social barriers or income bands, from the outside, someone can look as if they have it all, but inside them is a howling wasteland of nothing. So, for this day which is drawing towards evening, try and spend at least two hours without looking at a screen. The hours just before bedtime are when you are at your most vulnerable to the sleep-disruptive influence of screens. Music, radio, the sound of the world around you ; any of these is more conducive to sleep than looking at other people’s amazingly filtered lives via the medium of a lit glass screen.
Speak to you tomorrow.
p.s. The photo at the top? It’s the Bass Rock from West Barns beach, Dunbar, Scotland. Imagine what it feels like to swim there on New Year’s day. Now there’s an image to conjure with…