If, after my early September blogging rush, I am a little quiet on here then be consoled that my neglect of you is for good reason.
There has been the first aid course (which I passed without killing anyone and now will react to any emergency situation by telling the person involved to lie on their back with their legs in the air). I enjoyed the week more than I expected to (though the rush hour commute was as hellish as I remembered from that post Oxford summer), I learnt stuff that might actually save someone's life and I laughed quite a lot. But it was intense. And dealing on a minute by minute basis with everything that could go wrong, the nagging feeling that one day this plastic dummy might be an actual person, might even be someone you know - it drains your reserves. Each night I came home and wanted to do nothing more than curl up and not think.
There has been the voracious reading that, with the blissful moments to myself which the last few weeks have afforded, seems to characterise my Autumns. I have launched myself from one book to the next, whole other worlds opening up before me, these words - these wonderful, joyous, heartbreaking words - wrapping themselves around me. In two cases I have sobbed, hard, harder maybe than I have for a while. One for a book and a person and an event that is so far removed from me that I should not be able to touch it (though the theme of Mister Pip, would always suggest otherwise), the other because it felt - almost - as if the writer had peered into my soul and served it up for my reading pleasure.
There has been coloured tights. This might not sound important but I have made the decision - I am waving the flag - as I sit here in my plum tights - for interesting legwear. It is how I shall remember this season I suspect.
There has been pounding the floors of the theatre, learning the quirks of my shiny new attendants and having a show in the upstairs auditorium which led the Guardian to question whether we were all "delusional" (and no, I am not linking, the theatre in question keeps me in coloured tights).
There has been endless male voices on my iTunes, James Blunt's album on repeat winding its way into my soul, Mika making me want to jump about in my room, Rufus Wainwright soothing and giving range to my own diva moments.
There has, of course, been a little too much vodka, a little too much wine, a little too much inappropriate flirting. I rather loved the fact that a mere mention of our names was enough to have me asked whether we were spending the next week "walking around Roundhay Park with him quoting poetry at [me]". We are not, of course, but I love the fact that our reputations are such that people think we might.
There has been a decision or two, things that have hung in the air, a late night conversation that has rattled around my brain until I found the answer. Choices that have been made and then re-made.
Tomorrow I am spending the day in Ilkley, in the afternoon seeing one of those female writers whom St Anne's so regularly churns out and whose ranks I so desperately wish to join. Afterwards I suspect there will be food, and more wine, and, not inspite of everything but maybe because of everything, stomach lurching excitement.
But above all of this, and the real reason that I have been pushed away from the blog, stands the fact that I am writing with a zeal and enjoyment that I cannot remember having for a while. A half formed new play at my fingertips. It is exciting and terrifying and finds me waking up in the middle of the night with the actions of these newly created beings.
It is safe to say, I have missed this.