I’ve just been writing freely and effortlessly to family, friends, business contacts and acquaintances. Smoothly and seamlessly arranged, created, composed; I’ve juggled letters, words and phrases without a second thought. So why, why, why is it when I sit down with a blank piece of paper (in reality a computer screen and a pristine ‘Word’ document) in front of me and have to ‘write’ I either freeze or employ every avoidance tactic in the book? I can barely manage to get the first word down – it looks wrong, laboured, ineffectual – yes, just the first word – and that’s providing I can actually get it written!

I mentioned this to a friend yesterday; she laughed and said it reminded her of a film (for the life of me I can’t remember the name) where the opening scene was of a blocked writer on a train. He bravely wrote ‘Once upon a time’ then ‘once upon’ and ‘once’ – you get the drift? He then invented games…throwing paper into goal, followed by paperclips, pieces of fluff – am I painting the picture? He eventually sellotaped his mouth, eyes, face, head and hands into a maddened sticky ball of mess. Anything, anything not to write! She, Sally, my friend said she was in stitches, though she wasn’t too sure if it was meant to be a funny scene.

So I have a pristine house; even the black-hole bathroom cupboard has been cleaned and sorted as well as the grimy never-seen-back of the loo cistern; shower curtains washed and de-moulded and bathroom tiles and grouting scrubbed to immaculate newness. Windows gleam and the ubiquitous Locks Park spider city has wondered what’s hit it. We have fresh blueberry cake, sticky date brownies and shelves stocked with jams, jellies and chutneys as well as bottles of scarily expanding elderflower champagne; and my freezer actually has a selection of soft fruit – unusual for me as I don’t particularly like frozen foods. I’ve even found a time consuming occupation as full-on truffle hound – well, fungi hunter. The men of the household are revelling in this bountiful domesticity like debauched Roman lords and are not at all despairing the lack of my other creative tendencies!

I had a deadline yesterday – I was trying to write about the developments on bTB for a readership that wouldn’t appreciate dry, scientific facts or full on emotional rant. It was like drawing blood from a stone – yes, I managed, eventually, though every word was more indicative of drawing teeth rather than a light but informative piece on a subject I’m really familiar with.

I sigh – have I broken the fortified dam or does it still need a couple more bombs dropped on it before a flood of words burst through?

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