I spent most of this morning working in bed. It's so cold here, and, like many people, I can't justify running the heating when it's only me in the house. So I sat up in bed, hatted and scarved, propped up on pillows, working on a lap-tray - Sallust's Bellum Catilinae, which has to be prepared for next term; some new poems, at various stages of revision; and notes on the next issue of Horizon.
I drove to and from a poetry reading in Leicester last night, which took just under an hour each way, accompanied by Jane Commane - friend, poet and editor at Nine Arches Press - and felt fine, though aware that I didn't give of my best at the reading. Breath very high in the chest, voice constricted and thinner than usual.
On returning home, round about midnight, I felt suddenly, inexplicably shattered. I went online very briefly, threw off my togs, crawled into bed and lay there in a daze. My heart was racing, I felt sick and light-headed. When I got up to go to the bathroom, I nearly fell down the stairs, I was so dizzy and nauseous.
By the morning - 7.15am start - the sickness had receded somewhat, though I was still a little shaky. Luckily, I didn't have to be anywhere this morning, so was able to retreat back under the covers for a couple of hours. But I still couldn't resist taking some work into bed with me!
Since I'm much better now, I guess last night's reaction wasn't due to any bug, but was merely the result of exhaustion, both mental and physical. It feels like an extraordinarily long time since the more relaxed days of summer.
Perhaps I've been overdoing it lately. But no chance of rest just yet. I'm still intending to go to the Salt Christmas Party tonight at the Horse Hospital, London - bought the train tickets now, and I'll be damned if I'm going to waste them - and next week has been pencilled in for writing. Something which I refuse to give up in order to loll about watching daytime soaps under a duvet.
Being an editor - and also a student now! - is wonderful - but if I no longer have the time nor energy to prioritise my own poetry, what's it all for?