I don’t particularly mind if I don’t get to write, or go online, every day. But I do mind if I don’t get a little bit of time, uninterrupted, to myself. And I really would rather I wasn’t interrupted three times a minute by my DH asking whether I want to cook tonight, when I’m going to cook the damsons in the fridge, why I bought a chicken (because it’s food and people eat, dear), why I’m going in the bedroom and closing the door, and yes it’s fine to have a bit of time to myself but when, to the minute, will I be back out again and ready to help him put decorations up in the loft.
Excuse me, I have a big hulking teenage son who’s hardly left his room and his laptop all day. Couldn’t someone ask him?
I’m probably a little neurotic, a view my family would endorse, but I find it very diffcult to do anything requiring concentration when I can hear my partner clomping up and down the stairs all the time – I am continuously primed for him to knock on the door, look surprised and ask “Oh, sorry, am I interrupting you?”
The answer is yes. Now GO AWAY. Which part of that do you not understand?
On the plus side, I have just booked my summer hiking trip. I’ll be walking around the coastline of Anglesey, a large island just to the north-west of the north Welsh coast. I am probably addicted to coastal hikes. Nothing soothes my spirit to the same extent. My happiest hours have probably been spent on Cornish cliffs and beaches. However, Cornwall takes a long time to reach from here and I can only scrounge a maximum of five days away from the demands of both job and family. Even that was a struggle. I asked DH for two timeslots that were definitely free, then went ahead and booked his preferred one, only to be told I had to reschedule the whole thing because he’d forgotten to take account of the annual reunion of his family. Nobody is allowed to miss that. Just nobody. In fact, last year I had to drive 250 miles down there because he was away on business until the morning of it.
I do actually like his extended family very much, but I sometimes feel a little swamped by them, and the unquestioned assumption that a great deal of time and effort has to be put into keeping up with all twenty-something of his cousins. It is, I agree, very nice to be part of a group of nearly 40 people, ranging in age from under 12 months to over 80 years, all having a picnic at Greenwich or Littlehampton, and if he didn’t assume I’d always prioritize it I almost certainly would. But such is human nature that right now I feel like hiding away for hours.
It will be interesting to see whether getting away for a solo trip improves my state of mind. In 2007, for the first time in several years I didn’t bother (mainly because I was starting a new job) and my physical and mental health deteriorated. My husband will certainly retire within the next 5-10 years and a part of me is dreading it, much as I love him, because he will assume I want to spend 100% of my time doing stuff with him, right down to reading the same books and watching the same DVDs. It makes me feel a bit like the Doctor being exiled to Earth. It’s not that I don’t love Earth, I just get nervous when there’s no alternative.
Perhaps that’s why when it comes to the prospect of a Dr/R reunion my attitudes to TV and fanfic are so different. On TV, I would like nothing better than a thoroughly soppy, romantic, this-is-for-ever ending complete with snow and snogging. My fiction tends to be far more realistic, however, and someone has already pointed out to me that , even in my post-Doomsday stories, I often write about the Doctor and Rose doing things independently at least half the time. To me, that’s pretty close to the definition of an ideal relationship.