This time last year I was confined to my flat in what would end up becoming a three-month stint of seclusion while I waited for my spinal surgery.
Almost a year on, yesterday I found myself going for a soggy walk along the River Thames during a terrible rainstorm… just because I could.
Today I decided to put my laptop on the kitchen counter for a few hours so that I could stand up while I worked… just because I could.
I still find it astonishing to stand without being in pain. I’m still enjoying the outside world and I’m still finding any excuse to walk whenever I can. Never, ever underestimate how wonderful it is to be pain-free, or how amazing it is to be able to walk. Take it from someone who knows.
Of course, being able to walk and actually being able to go for a walk are two different things. I’ve been working in various offices now for around seven weeks; so much for my ‘two weeks in an office, two weeks at home’ norm. I need the money and it’s been nice, in a way, but at the same time I feel like I haven’t had a day off since forever because my weekends are being spent writing. (And while I wouldn’t say that a feature on seaQuest or a review of Battlestar Galactica is hard work, exactly, it’s still work and I’m still having to write when I’d prefer to be watching my new Region 1 box set of Supernatural season three. Pah!)
At the moment I’m sub-editing on Times Higher Education, which is interesting. The people are nice and it’s always stimulating to work in a new environment (particularly one as clean and swish as their offices). They’re also located in Holborn, which means that in my lunch breaks I’m wandering up to the British Museum to get an eyeful of the Rosetta Stone or an Easter Island statue or a room full of mummies (right next door to the museum’s swanky new restaurant – ew, gross!). And I’m also making sure I walk from the office down to Waterloo every night, too, so I get to see the London sights as I go – St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben…
My cup? It truly runneth over.
THE is also very different from my usual clients – film mags, the odd computer magazine or my good pals on Metal Hammer. For example, I took some time out on Friday morning to see the doctor about what I thought was an ear infection. It turned out to be a virus of the inner ear called ‘labyrinthitis’, which instantly had me thinking of the 1986 movie.
“Wow, David Bowie is living in my ear,” I thought, highly amused. When I got back to the office and informed my colleagues, however, the first thing they said was, “Wow, you could have a minotaur in your ear!”
I went for a Muppet movie, they went for classical mythology. They are SO much smarter than me. But at least I have fond memories of Jareth’s incredibly tight trousers, even if they don’t…
I’d also like to mention here – belatedly – that a few weeks ago I had my very first Jayne’s World meet-up! Regular readers Ruud and Lilia from the Netherlands were holidaying in London and we arranged to go for a meal. We got along swimmingly, I’m happy to say, although it emerged later that all three of us had been rather nervous beforehand. After all, what if we’d hated each other on sight? What if we found we had nothing to talk about? What if they’d been… well… weird?
But they weren’t; they were lovely. They even brought me chocolate (woohoo!) and stroopwafels (which I’m saving for a special occasion). I’m happy to say that, through both SFX and this blog, I’ve made two new friends. It was a pleasure to meet them!
I must go now. The Goblin King is dancing in my head.