I posted this first in March 2010. I’m reposting now because, as I start to get lovely book reviews from readers, and news that extra copies of the Bah! book are being bought and handed to GPs, breast care nurses and oncologists, and texts from Ned to say that copies of the Bah! book are disappearing from the bookshops he’s monitoring, I feel as though if I looked up I would see a happy dragon turning somersaults in the sky.
On Sunday, I went to Manchester in readiness for work there on Monday.Mothering Sunday morning was lovely, as you know, but I was feeling a little down too, as you know, what with the side effects and the decision making and the cramp and all.
I checked in to my (pretty swish) hotel, and I went up to my room, and I stood in the doorway looking round at the tasteful neutrals and bright chromes and big bed, and suddenly, from nowhere, I felt utter despair. (The despair was nothing to do with the hotel, except that the hotel wasn’t home, and I could have done with a bit of home just then.) I felt paralysed. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know how to help myself.
And then, there she was. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a flash of crimson and the glint of a green eye. My dragon was back. (If you haven’t met my dragon, feel free to read this post and this post, but please come back.) In that moment, when I looked and saw her there, I felt pulled back from something really frightening. (Yup, more frightening than seeing imaginary dragons.)
She’s been around ever since, and she’s making sure I look after myself. As I idled in the big comfy chair in my hotel room thinking about how stiff I was and how I really ought to do some yoga, a strategically placed talon prompted me to actually get up and get on with it. When I read the upsetting email on the train, just the faintest breath of cordite in the air distracted me for long enough to stop me from dissolving. There was a certain amount of talon-tapping involved in getting me to book a pilates class rather than just talking about booking one. (More on pilates later. Except: wow.) I think the dragon had something to do with going to the health food shop to buy supplements to replace the missing good gut bacteria, find a remedy for the cramps, and get me a food supplement which will give me high doses of good stuff to get me back on my feet.
It was sort of lovely to see my dragon again – she’s learned to wink since she was last here, by the way – and sort of sad, because my dragon is my subconscious’s way of looking after me when I am at too much of a low ebb to look after myself. So I guess I hoped I wouldn’t need her again. But it turns out that I did, and she’s here now, and so I’m very glad to see her. Although, with the best will in the world, I hope she isn’t here for long.
(I ought to get my dragon’s portrait painted. Then I could show her to you, then you could help me to figure out her name, because she won’t tell me. If you know any artists specialising in imaginary creatures, please drop me a line. I’d be grateful. So would my dragon, who is flossing in readiness.)
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