Now I know that everyone who visits here enjoys reading, so this might seem a rather shocking, but I have been wondering over the past few months whether perhaps it is possible to be unhealthily obsessed with books. I have noted the following symptoms in myself:
- At the beginning of every school year, when I am getting to know my classes, we generally talk about what we like doing in our spare time, and my students have a pretty varied and interesting range of hobbies, and they ask me what my hobbies are. Erm. Reading. That’s it.*
- Should anyone ask me what I’d like for Christmas or my birthday, it’s always books.
- I try to get rid of books I don’t believe I’ll ever read again, but how can I be sure I’ll never read them again? Best to be on the safe side... Actually, once I woke in the night and for a brief moment was sluiced in cold reality and realised that I would never, ever have enough room in my home for all my books, and I wept at the thought of having to get rid of hundreds and hundreds of them because they are meeee. Then I fell asleep and next morning returned to my default mode of not thinking where I will put all these books if I lift them off the floor and empty my parents’ attic of the boxes of them. If you don’t think about a problem, it ceases to exist.
- When my current cardigan went at the elbows (or, at least, when K noticed that this had happened last week) I moaned and groaned about having to spend six euros – yes, six euros! – at the charity shop on a replacement for it. Then I came home and blew nearly forty quid on books without even thinking. Because some things are essential and others are not.
- I have no small talk because I don’t do anything except read books nobody around me has ever even heard of or obsess about the bowel movements of my hens.
In an attempt to become a more rounded human being I have branched out into the world of Making Things. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to have made me any more interesting nor given me any entertaining topics of conversation, perhaps because so far it’s principally entailed making doll’s clothes and it’s hard for most human beings to work up much enthusiasm about tiny shoes made of cardboard. Also, to be honest, everything I have bodged together looks a bit crap. And I don’t seem to improve. I thought that was supposed to happen, you practise a bit and you get better at things?
Here are some doll’s clothes I made. You would not believe how long it took me, nor how frequently my teeth were gnashed. I painted some little boxes as well, but even I can’t bear to humiliate myself quite so far as to post them on the internets. I am only showing you these because this is a quick post due to my guilt at not being a better blogger. I have tons of things to write about but not the time to do so. Uploading photographs is so much easier than actually formulating ideas.
(Florence, being suddenly upstaged by Mister Puss, in a dress originally intended for Bunchy; alas, poor Bunchy had to pass it on to Florence because it was too tight round the arms do you see a pattern here? No wonder Florence is smiling)
Please, tell me your interesting hobbies, I need some inspiration. Or tell me that you have no life beyond reading either.
* Of course I lie to make myself seem a bit more exciting and I say that I garden (and that’s true, but my idea of gardening is prancing out on a sunny day and planting out a few seedlings or doing a little light weeding before retiring to a cup of tea, you won’t find me braving February winds or remembering to dead-head every day, which is what proper gardeners do while emitting hearty whoops) and I like to travel, go to the theatre and visit galleries and museums (again true but these days I never do).