Seasonal Disorder.

Is it possible to get Seasonal Affective Disorder the wrong way round? I find myself flagging during the summer, low in spirit and energy, but come the first whiff of autumn, the blood quickens, the fingertips tingle, and I’m raring to go again. Autumn’s a bit late coming this year, but the leaves are beginning to turn, the nights are drawing in and I saw my breath the other morning. It’s selfish, I know, but I can’t wait for the first frosts. Winter’s so invigorating. Do other writers find this? I’d be fascinated to hear from you.

It’s a good thing my mojo’s back: I’m busy on the second (& final) draft of the illegitimacy book now. I’ve just been editing the chapter on child migration (how those little ones must have missed the familiarity of the changing seasons. Their new world must have seemed alien in every way). Since writing it first time round, I have made a rather shocking discovery linking a member of my own family with the whole terrible business. I’m trying to come to terms with that, and will write about it in the book’s final chapter.

Meanwhile there’s lots of other stuff going on: a fascinating conference on women travellers at Wolfson College in Oxford on Friday 4 Oct; during the past week I’ve done talks in Dorset, Buckinghamshire, and Leicestershire with more coming up soon elsewhere; off to see ‘Blue Stockings’ at Shakespeare’s Globe again next week – it closes on 11 October – and I’ve returned to Somerville College, where I work one day a week. The start of the academic year is such a perky time: anything seems possible at this stage, and the general air of excitement is infectious. After the long, languid days of summer, it’s great to be buzzing again.


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