When I’m processing my emotions, I hear songs in my head. Yesterday at 6.30am, I pulled on my trainers and went for a walk. The air was mild, the sky was blue, the world felt like the most wonderful place. Kate Bush started serenading me with Cloudbusting and I was humming along …
“Ooh, I just know that something good is gonna happen.
And I don’t know when,
But just saying it could even make it happen …”
I was positive something good was going to happen, because it always does (sometimes it just takes a while). And I was reminded again of Angela Mollard’s Sunday magazine column – I think I have a girl crush – Words To Live by: “Remember when you were little and you loved kaleidoscopes? The tiniest twist, and the pattern would change. Life’s like that – but be exhilarated, not cowed … Ahead are days of miracle and wonder.”
Isn’t that beautiful? What miracles and wonders await me? I’ve got a really good feeling. And it should last until at least until 5pm.
There’s something about 5pm that kills me. The night before, around that time, I felt like curling up in a ball. After school, the Sprogs pleaded with me to play Polly Pockets with them, but I begged off citing a headache. So they chopped up half a dozen egg cartons into tiny, little pieces and scattered them all over the playroom instead. I took some headache tablets and moped in the kitchen. Despite my resolve to not drink Monday to Thursday, I opened a cheap bottle of pinot grigio and furtively guzzled a few glasses while I cooked dinner. The soundtrack in my head was a rather mournful, self-composed refrain:
“If I really neeeeed a drink, I must be an alcoholic!
Woe is me.”
I’m a terrible singer – even inside my head – so I switched to Snow Patrol’s Set The Fire To The Third Bar:
“I’m miles from where you are
I lay down on the cold ground
And I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms”
Why? Because in the movie script I haven’t written, that’s the song playing when the weekly magazine editor collapses – on the “cold ground” – from alcohol abuse (I swear, it’s not autobiographical … yet.)
After two drinks, I felt much better about life. I was laughing and joking with the Sprogs, I didn’t even mind when they said my homemade wonton soup was “watery”.
But I knew happiness wasn’t to be found in a bottle. And I wondered where the real thing was hiding.
I have no idea what sparked my low mood. It wasn’t that time of the month, nothing bad had happened to me – other than having to pay $1300 to get my farking car serviced (more than 10% of its total value, they saw me coming). I just felt bleeeeeaaaaaak. When Husband got home, he asked how I was and got a wan “not so good”.
So, he was a little surprised to come downstairs after his shower yesterday morning, tentatively ask how I was and get a cheery: “Great!”
What is it with mood swings? How can your outlook change so dramatically overnight? I’m not knocking it, I’m glad the dark cloud has blown over.
Is it a case of “my emotions are a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it” (apologies to Ronan Keating for butchering his lyrics), “help me if you can, I’m feeling down” , “don’t worry, be happy”, or “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”?
Fingers crossed it’s not the last one.
Perhaps if I keep walking in the peaceful post-dawn, having Kate serenade me with Cloudbusting, I’ll push away the dark clouds and see the silver lining instead.
Or maybe I’m just tired. I might pop some iron and vitamin B tablets too, see if that helps.
HOW ABOUT YOU? DO YOU HEAR SONGS IN YOUR HEAD?
PS While I’m on the subject of song words … I’m thinking my Village Voices blog this week should have been called “I’ve been to barley too”. But I stuck with a straighty-one-eighty “3 ways with barley”. Here’s one of the recipes, Barley “risotto”, but my absolute favourite is the Lamb, Potato & Barley Bake. Num, num, num. You’ll have to click here for it …
RECIPE: Barley “risotto” with chicken and mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 500g chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
- 200g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium brown onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 1 cup barley
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Heat oil in heavy-based frying pan. Stir-fry chicken until cooked through. Set aside. Add extra oil to pan. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Add mushrooms and saute two minutes. Add barley and stir to combine. Add white wine to pan and simmer until liquid almost evaporates. Mix stock and water together. Add stock mixture to pan, 1 cup at a time, simmering and stirring occasionally until liquid almost evaporates. Continue until barley is tender (about 30 minutes). Add more water if the grain is still too firm. When barley is tender, add chicken and warm through. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves (if desired) and serve.