Friday, 21 February 2014


    Curses. I am massively annoyed. Except that, actually, I’m not. I appear to have lost my blogging mojo. Except that I haven’t.

     For those poor bastards who follow me on twitter, you may already be aware that we had a house guest (aka The Guest) staying with us recently. For nearly four weeks. They’re a lovely person to have around, we are massively indebted to them, they get on well with all of us. The Guest was not a problem. But it was A Problem.  Without wanting to sound massively precious and ‘Oh, my valuable thoughts and words!’ about it, I find it really hard to write when I know there are other people in the house. My shoulders become hunched up, because I know, with absolute certainty, that at some crucial point, just as I’m really hitting my stride, I’ll get interrupted repeatedly, until I am at the teeth gritted, hissing stage of ‘Didn’t you hear what I just said I am trying to write why must you insist on interrupting me all the time for christ’s sake is it so hard to understand…’. Fairly childish, I know, but it happens.

     So effectively, if I’m going to get anything done, I need the house to myself. But whilst The Guest was here, that was not really an option. So that’s a month written off. And now we’re approaching the end of half term. Or, as it is also known ‘The week when The Blondies are with you all day, every day.’ Or also ‘The week when you can escape company for no more than ten minutes, and only then if you contrive an excuse to go to the shop in the evening.’ So not a lot has got done this week either.

     It’s not for want of bloody trying. My tiny diary is filled with random scribblings and asterisked words that have occurred to me as I’ve dragged myself around the house, delivering food, hefting washing, and cooking enough food to feed twenty teenage boys, only to see it vanish before the locust-like appetites of The Blondies. Or thinking ‘Actually, I could probably write about warring middle class tribes tonight’ only for Alistair to decide to stay up later than usual, watching some very LOUD war film very LOUDLY in the living room in a LOUD way that has me retreating to the radio in the kitchen. I might not be getting any writing done, but I’m probably saving myself from tinnitus in later life, so there is a positive to be taken from it.

     But really, that’s a load of bollocks. I know what’s stopping me from blogging. It’s a niggle. I think I’ve got about four or five things I want to blog about at the moment. None of them really fully realised, just sort of vague ideas and things I’ve seen or overheard. That’s fine. Once we’re back into term time and usual routines, they’ll resolve themselves, probably just as I’m blogging about them. Or will they? They might, were it not for...

     The niggle. You know how, sometimes, you read or hear something, and it makes sense, but there’s something more to it? Something that eludes you, but you know that it’s important, and you can’t reach out to fully grasp it? It started last Friday, and since then, I’ve been too preoccupied with it to really give much else any thought. One or two things have occurred to me that have made the mists around the niggle stir themselves a little and let in a  little more daylight onto it, but aaarrrggghh. It is driving me MAD. Like trying to remember the surname of the girl you sat next to in Yr5 maths, or the first line of the second verse of an Ocean Colour Scene song from 1996. Knowing that the young of a hare is not a ‘harelet but… gah, begins with an ‘l’… ‘larelet’? No… ‘Begins with ‘I’, has an ‘r’ in it…’ Two days later, standing in the queue at Boots ‘LEVERETT!’ There’s nothing quite as euphoric as remembering or realising something you’ve been frustrated by for days. And there is nothing quite so aggravatingly mindfrying as knowing with absolute certainty that you can make a bloody sodding link between things you already know, if you could only think clearly enough to stop obsessing over it. But of course, you can’t, because it’s annoying you. And when things are annoying you, they don’t stop being an irritating little bastard overnight. You don’t wake up and think ‘I’ll never remember the name of that girl from Year 5 maths. Oh well’, shrug, and carry on with your life. No, you devote ever longer hours to trying to remember just what her bloody name was (Amelia Harrison. She was very nice, but quite quiet).

     And in this case, it’s not a fact or a name, or a song lyric. It’s a hunch. A feeling. Stupid gut instinct that is very much overstaying its welcome. It has beaten me down to the point that I am writing things down as they occur to me, because it's such a slippery little bastard of an idea. It makes absolutely no difference to my life or anyone elses if I could just make the sodding connection between the things I know and the things I think, but right now, it’s not happening. And so nothing else is getting written about either, because no sooner am I thinking about 'socially crunchy schools' than I think about school toilets, ghosts, folk memory, unwritten history... I'm bloody doing it again right now!

     Drums fingers, looks for something to kick… In the absence of clear and logical thought, I might have to make do with gin instead. Curses.


Kenny Higgs said...

Like it old chum, inevitably anyone who reads it is now desperate to know what the niggle is. You need some decent cliffhanger music!

Lucy Benedict said...

Don't think anyone else would find ti all that interesting, old fruit. But just in case...

Sam said...

Too much tweeting Luce - its fried your melon. ;)I'll look forward to finding out what the niggle is too. And I know exactly what you mean about not being able to blog with others around - only this afternoon I got VERY cross with my own poor blondies who were having the most almighty battle over a Bratz motorcycle (circa 2007) (used to belong to their female cousins...)

Lucy Benedict said...

Yes. I BLAME TWITTER. It's all twitter's fault. And the fault of people who live with me. Definitely. And definitely nothing to do with me being a complete lazyarse...

@Sidrat2011 said...

I've been offline for several weeks and was looking forward to reading and catching up with your train of thought. I'm glad in a very selfish way that your train hasn't gone too far.

I post with advice. I offer no guarantee.

Niggles are annoying as you wrote; what I like to do however is - if possible do internet research using keywords or phrases, I'm sure you're more than adequately capable of that, so your niggle isn't something so easily nailed down with a hammer.

Alternatively you could listen to and sing along with 'These are the sounds that the animals make' because it's classy and you only have to think of your niggle in a sideways; if relevant, where were you, what were you doing, sounds and of course smells could help trigger that niggle.

The song is awesome for toddlers, pre-schoolers and adults who still enjoy having fun.

I have no idea how the name of a young hare got to you when in line at Boots though - Animal testing perhaps?

Have fun!