How Do You Fit It All In? #9

The latest instalment in a series in which I answer the ongoing question “How do you fit it all in?”, which people ask me when I tell them what I do.


The plane landed at 7am, and by 9.30 I was home and standing in the shower washing off the pervasive sand, which had attached itself to me like tiny glistening limpets. I unpacked, created my to-do list for the week, and then went to the supermarket to buy vegetables. Vegetables! Not deep fried food!

I worked all morning, then a carpenter arrived to look at the living room window frames. “Oh,” he said, “Oh dear.” Which sums up the general view of my flat.

I had a client call at 3pm, which ended at 3.30, and then I went to bed. I slept until about 11pm, then read for a bit, then went to sleep again. My body clock’s confused from travelling, but hopefully it will reset itself.


I got up at 7 and got on the tube at rush hour, which I hardly ever do. I was going to a Brexit summit across town.

The summit was interesting mainly because it highlighted just how disorganised everything is. I think there’s a general feeling among the public that the government doesn’t really know what it’s doing, but I was surprised at just how true that is. No one has any idea. At all.

By the end of the summit I was exhausted and overcaffeinated, but I got on a train and went to Blackpool to see my mother and grandmother. I arrived at 10pm and my mother and I hung out for a few hours, drinking wine and catching up. I went to bed at 3.30 and got up at 8.


“What do you want to do today?” I asked my mother.
“I want to go to the zoo!” she replied.

So we did.

After the zoo we went to visit my grandmother, and then it was time to go home. A flying visit, but I enjoyed it and it was good to see both of them.

I got home at 9pm and went straight to bed, hoping I’d tired myself out enough to reset my jetlagged brain. I had not. Sleep finally came at about 1am, and I woke up at 10am the next day.


I worked until 2pm, mainly clearing my backlog from being away, or bits of it anyway. Then I had the appointment I normally have on Tuesdays, and after that I came home and continued working. I’d been planning on going to a local poetry evening but I decided I didn’t have time, and stayed in and worked instead.

It feels like I’ve barely made any impact on the backlog, but it always feels like this the first few days after I get back from being abroad, so I’m hoping it’ll change soon.

I went to bed at 10ish and fell asleep quickly, but then woke up at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep for ages. By 5am I was about ready to give up, but then I fell asleep again and woke up at 10. My body seems to be sleeping in shifts at the moment.


When I woke up for the second time, at 10am, I got up and immediately started work. I only had time for about an hour’s work, though, since from midday I was booked up with medical stuff and singing lessons.

My body continues to be a mystery to the medical profession, but tests are ongoing so maybe we’ll solve it at some point. And if we don’t, at least I can function this year. That’s the main thing.

After I’d been given some handy tips from my singing teacher, who helped me to work out how to sing my way through a concert when I can’t feel my left side or use my lower abdominal muscles, I went home and tried to work. I was too jetlagged and tired though, and I was doing that thing when you just click around on random tabs and end up staring into space. So at 5pm I was like, fuck it, and went to meet my friends for cocktails.

I was so tired I felt like I’d fall asleep while I was there, but I didn’t, and then on the train home I decided to go to the cinema, because my brain was at that stage of exhaustion where it doesn’t know how to sleep anymore. I watched Hereditary, which was a shame because I’d been up for some creepiness in my life and it so nearly delivered. At the beginning I was bored, and then I stopped being bored for about half an hour and thought it might turn into something genuinely creepy, The Orphanage style, but the ending was ridiculous and made the whole thing unbelieveable. Toni Collette, though, deserves an Oscar for her performance.

I got home after midnight and went straight to bed, but somehow I was still awake. I read for a bit and eventually fell asleep at about 3am.


I woke up at 8ish but refused to get out of bed until eleven because I was desperate to get some rest, if not extra sleep. But in the end I gave in, got up and pottered around for a bit.

In the afternoon it was rehearsal time, and then concert time, and all went well. After the concert I went for dinner with a few friends, then came home and went to bed. It didn’t take me too long to fall asleep, for once, and I got eleven hours in overnight.


I woke up feeling refreshed after finally getting a sufficient amount of sleep. I spent the morning reading, then the afternoon doing stuff around the house, and then I settled back into bed with a cocktail and my laptop, and queued up blog posts for the week after next. All of these are written two weeks before they’re posted, which means that by the time I do get around to posting them I’ve often forgotten what I’d done, presenting a fun surprise when I read them back.

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