Tuesday 18 November 2014
As I write this, I'm not in Yorkshire. I should be in Yorkshire. I had tickets booked and everything. But I'm not in Yorkshire.
I woke up with my alarm at 5:30 this morning - my train from Lime Street was at 7:12 - and I just couldn't face it. I couldn't face travelling across the country to loiter by a station just outside Barnsley. Even if it was the hilariously named Penistone. I felt miserable and unhappy, and I still do.
Part of this might be simple tiredness; I went to Ikea yesterday, and walking round Ikea is roughly equivalent to walking a 10,000 metres. Only with a bag full of tea lights and wine glasses slung over your shoulder.
Part of it, however, is a more general disaffection with the whole project. My last few trips have not been very inspiring. Bits of Manchester. Suburban Hull. OK, I was in the Lake District a couple of weeks ago, but that's not even on the proper Northern map. I've felt a bit like I'm going through the motions, and that worries me for two reasons.
The first is, at its best, visiting stations is tremendous fun for me. I like going to places I've never been to before, and there's a tremendous sense of satisfaction from crossing them off the map. I don't want to get bored of it. I don't want my writing to get boring either, which is something I've also been afraid of lately - I feel a bit like I'm repeating myself. I don't want this to become a chore.
The second is a deeper reason. When I was at my lowest, most depressed point, I didn't enjoy anything. I was just existing, not truly living. I'm a bit concerned that I may be slipping back that way. There have been days lately when I've just wished it away, counting down until lunch, counting down until dinner, counting down until bed. Little markers that tell me another day is almost over. I had a bit of a breakdown in Sainsbury's car park last week as well; I got some very funny looks from the Afghan refugees who do the hand washes. I don't want to feel that way again.
This is probably just a blip. This is probably something to do with the turn of the weather, the darkening evenings, the rapid approach of Christmas. I'll probably be clawing at the walls by Friday, desperate to get on a train and go anywhere. It's just not happening today.