The problem with not working

The less busy I am, the less I take time to write. I spend hours thinking about what I would write, lying in bed when I wake up and excitedly thinking, “yes, that’s it, that’s exactly what sums up what was bad about Oblivion, I’ll write that”. Or thinking about more serious topics that I feel like I should write about – like Margaret Thatcher, or the pensions crisis, terrorism,   China, education. Only I never do, because life drifts on in interminable pregnancy-related paranoia, making lists of house-buying criteria and the many remaining things to do for our wedding. 

Today is the first day that I’ve spent all day at home, mainly running errands and doing housework. I did all the same stuff while I was working, but somehow the whole process of emptying bins, dry cleaning, shopping, making beds and washing up now manages to take all day. How very dull, really, and therefore how very little to write about. My idea for a novel was to write about a strange dystopia  in which no child can die before their parents. I’ve only been to one funeral at which the deceased’s parents (and indeed sister, wife and baby son) were present, and it did seem terribly unnatural. If this was never possible, I wonder what the effect would be. Children would presumably still get childhood cancers, but could not die. Since they would know they could not die, perhaps they would take much bigger risks on a daily basis. They might get run over and lose limbs, or be paralysed, or break all their bones, and still somehow survive. They wouldn’t be able to commit suicide, which would be nice. I suppose that since both my parents are still alive, I could start climbing any old crazy route, but only until I have responsibility for my own children. I’m not sure where the dramatic tension in such a story would come from though. I should probably read a nice book and eat some chocolate instead.

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