This is not a book review

You might be expecting, some time around now, my review of A Gay History of Britain.  And the thing is, I would totally have it ready for you, except that the dog ate it.

Or no, actually, it wasn’t the dog, it was – yes, that’s right!  What it was, I was walking in this morning, and I was just reading it through for mistakes, and suddenly this great big bird – I think it must have been, like, an eagle or something – swooped down out of the sky, and just left me holding this tiny scrap of paper.  Yeah, I know it looks like the corner of a Superdrug receipt, but that’s just like a total coincidence, yeah?

Not buying that?  Ok, right, I didn’t want to have to tell you this, cos it’s embarrassing, but the thing is, yeah, my kid brother was…playing…with the hoover, and he got himself stuck inside it, and my mum had to take him to hospital, and my book review was on the back seat of the car, and I won’t be able to get at it until at least tonight, yeah?

…er…if you happen to see my kid brother around today, that doesn’t mean I was lying, it’s just this really amazing thing happened last night, yeah, where we found out that he had a long lost twin who was living in America, and he came over for a surprise, and he’s not going to live here, but he decided to come in for my brother today, and, like, pretend to be him in classes and stuff…  Only don’t say anything to him, cos I told everyone at home that I wouldn’t say anything, and I don’t want to get into trouble…

The actual excuse is a little duller, I’m afraid.  The copy I was reading was from the university library, and it was recalled a couple of weeks ago.  I would have had time to finish it before the new due date, but I figured, since it was dissertation submission/ finals revision season, somebody might need it urgently, and I took it back the same day it was recalled.  Which makes it slightly annoying, therefore, that it sat waiting to be collected until after it would have been back in the library anyway.  But never mind.  It’s the end of term (grumble, grumble creeping Americanisation of higher education grumble) semester in a little while, so I should have it back by then.  Or, if not, I’ll recall it from him/her – see how s/he likes them apples.

Needless to say, when the actual review comes along it’ll be rather more lacking in specifics than it might otherwise have been, since I obviously had to take all my bookmarking post-it notes out before I took it back.  As an interim report, though – it’s a mixed bag, perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it’s by several authors.  One of the contributors in particular has a breathtakingly cavalier attitude towards evidence.  The latter is by far the most surprising – he takes fairly obviously questionable evidence at face value in a way I’d have been pulled up for when I was studying GCSE history, yet he’s somehow managed to make it all the way to professor.  Very strange.  Anyway, more will be forthcoming in due course.

***

In other news, I seem to be about 78% batshit at the moment, and plagued with a mixture of:

  • very high anxiety;
  • what Freud would have called ‘hysterical symptoms’;
  • a generalised but acute sense of impending doom;
  • and…unusual experiences (on balance, it seems unlikely that Vladimir Putin was trying to kill me for most of last week, but kept missing and getting other people instead who were always snatched out of sight seconds before I turned round and saw their corpses).

The combination is so unpleasant I’m actually thinking about going to see my GP.  Which is unlike me, as you know, but I would very much like it all – or at least the hysterical symptoms bit – to stop now, thanks all the same.  As always, of course, the desire to see my GP and the weekend coincided; there’s a special kind of sod’s law governing the intensity of mentalist symptoms.

The temptation to self-medicate with alcohol is hard to avoid just now.  A couple of glasses of wine and I know I’d feel so much better – until the hangover anxiety kicked in, of course, at which point I’d need more drink, and so on.  Been down that road before, and lost a couple of years and a job to it, so I’m trying to resist.

/self-indulgent misery wallowing

[Note for worriers: I’m ok.  I mean, I’m not ok ok, obviously, but I know I’m not ok, which means I’m sort-of ok.  If that makes sense.  You needn’t be concerned that I’ll do something desperate or dangerous.  Keep in mind I’ve been here – not specifically (the Putin thing is a new wrinkle), but in general terms – many times before.  The fact that I feel able to write about it now is almost certainly a good sign.  Sorry if I scared you.]

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