Just at the moment, a broken washing machine is dead in the middle of the kitchen.
‘What’s for supper?’ ask the kids as they come back from school.
‘I don’t know, I reply. It depends on the washing machine. It’s blocking everything.’
‘Oh,’ they say staring at the piles of plates trying to get into the dishwasher and the shopping unable to cram itself into the cupboards. ‘So probably pasta again.’
I too stare at the mayhem and nod my agreement. ‘Pasta again,’ I say.
It’s not that I couldn’t cook something more exciting, it’s just the limbo of not knowing that stops me committing myself to cooking something more exciting.
Real life dictates that I wait for a delivery driver. That’s been going on since 2 – it could go on until 9.
It’s boring and it completely stops me from functioning as a writer. I’ve done nothing remotely useful since 2.
This is not writer’s block, it’s just life block.
I have this image of Ernest Hemingway never washing up. Jane Austen never had to go to parents’ night. Charles Dickens didn’t have to get his car serviced. Chaucer didn’t have to file accounts. None of them ever spent all Sunday doing Geography homework. None of them had real lives outside work.
But then if I had all that time back, without the minutiae of life blundering in, I’d probably find I didn’t have anything to say.