I realised lately that I’ve been thinking/watching/reading a lot about spies. Not real spies, but fictional ones: James Bond, John le Carré, The Prisoner, The Avengers. That’s a lot of very different spy stories, both in term of tone (from escapist to realistic) and sub-genre (some are as much science fiction as espionage stories). Still, always spies, even though it’s not one of the genres I’ve been most into in my life. I’m not sure why this is the case, but perhaps it is a sign of a dangerous lack of trust in politicians and our democracy, that I’m worried that someone unsuitable will win the election – actually I’m fairly certain someone unsuitable will win the election, as I’m not convinced any of the parties are suited for high office right now – and worried that only the intervention of some undercover maverick agent could save us. Perhaps modern politics induces in me a strong desire to punch someone that I need to channel safely lest I dangerously repress my emotions.
Otherwise it was a fairly busy day. I Skyped E., or tried to, as my webcam wasn’t working and she had to make do with listening to me without seeing. I later briefly got it working again only for it to stop again. I’m not sure why my computer is not registering the in-built webcam as present. My computer is slowly dying, but I’m trying to keep it alive as long as possible as I don’t have the money or time to think about getting a new one. I may have to use one of my parents’ computers next time I need to Skype someone.
I spent some time working on the job proposal from last week. I don’t know how long I spent on it. Probably a couple of hours, on and off, but it was interrupted as I found it hard to concentrate and procrastinated online a lot, which I’ve learnt to interpret as a sign of anxiety about something. In this case, I’m anxious about getting the job and not being able to do it well, or charging the wrong amount for my services, either being turned down for asking for too much or accidentally misleading people into paying me too much (this is possibly overly scrupulous of me).
I managed half an hour jogging, half an hour of Torah study and another half hour on my novel. I would have liked to have done more of both, but I have limited time and energy. I did make good progress with the novel, writing another six hundred words as well as making some amendments to existing passages. I have discovered to my surprise that I’m a fairly intuitive writer. I did write a six page chapter breakdown before beginning to write, but I increasingly find that I want to wander away from that; it’s a starting point, but as I write, new ideas suggest themselves to me or that weird authorly cliché that I never believed happens and the characters start driving the story. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve learnt relatively recently that I’m not a great planner; I make plans, but struggle to stick to them. Maybe this is the obverse side: I can be intuitively creative.
My sister and brother-in-law invited me and my parents to stay with them for Shabbat. I had a lot of anxiety about going, for various reasons, but in the end I decided that it was a bit of religious OCD-anxiety and a lot of autistic nervousness about new situations (I’ve only been to their house three or four times and never stayed; in fact, I think I only stayed overnight with my sister once in the years when she was flat-sharing with friends before she got married).
And that was it, really. I’m tired, but I feel I did accomplish some things. It’s another late night though, which is more of a problem as I try to move back towards work and “normal” life.