So, in the interests of promoting healthy living (always a priority of mine, see the 'Snacks' section for proof) I thought I'd better follow up my last post with some slightly more wholesome coping strategies for times of crisis. Even I have to admit that there's only so much cake, chocolate and Bakewell tart you can use to get you through tough times before it leads to a whole new set of problems, like not being able to go out in public as none of your clothes fit anymore. So, I've been busily trialling some calorie-free alternatives. That don't involve wine either.
I know the lovely (and now envy-makingly svelte) Michelle Styles would say that exercise is the way to go to boost endorphins and clear your mind. She's right, of course, but I've shamefully let my morning run slide this year as I really did find
the half-hour recovery period spent gossiping with my running partner afterwards it cut into my working day too much. I guess we could re-schedule it for the evening, but by then my energy-levels have hit the floor and the only running I want to do is a hot bath.
Which brings me neatly onto my rigorously road-tested, calorie-free stress-relief method of choice: reading in the bath.
I do love my kindle, but its one huge downfalls is that it can't really be used in water (as my husband, chief screen-police officer in our house, regularly reminds me) which means I'm still buying paperbacks like a woman with a problem. Reading in the bath has been the thing that got me through the Deadline Weeks (and is my best hope for surviving the subsequent Revisiongate) and going straight to the top of my Book of the Year list is Julie Cohen's Getting Away With It.
Although perfect for bathtime escapism, it's the kind of book you have to keep near you at all times so you can top up your fix at regular intervals during the day, when reality gets a bit much. The thing is, it's so perfectly written that it actually feels like it could be reality, and given that I am about as far removed from the kick-boxing, smart-talking, independent twin heroine as it's probably possible to be, that is quite a feat of clever writing. I identified with Liza all the way. I understood her dilemma perfectly. And I bloody loved her man.
I ordered a copy of the book from Amazon on the day it came out, but before it arrived I spotted it in the book aisle of our brand-new, Wembley Stadium-sized Sainsburys. I'm such an instant-gratification girl I couldn't quite stop myself from slipping it into my basket, which means that I now find myself with a spare copy in need of a good home. So, if you feel a bit like you're swimming against the tide at the moment for whatever reason, and could do with escaping into a fabulous story, drop me a line via the website and leave your address. I'll pick a name out over the weekend.
It's funny too, did I mention that? You know when books are described in the back blurb as being 'laugh-out-loud funny' and you don't laugh once and feel a bit cheated? Well, this one isn't doesn't say that on the back, but I still did A LOT of inelegant snorting. I suppose that would make it a dangerous book to read on the bus, but still more perfect for solitary bathtime devouring. I'd better slip something fragrant and bath-y in with it, so you don't forget.
What's everyone else been reading and loving lately? In the bath or elsewhere...