The Banker's Niece

Read exclusive extracts from my new novel The Banker's Niece. Click here for Chapter 1.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A week in the life

I am exhausted. Nikki the dogminder has gone to a Brandon Flowers concert at the Eden Project so I don’t get my day off. I nearly step on a fat brown grass snake on the path through the field. What does this mean? I should have connections with snakes - I am born in a Chinese year of the snake and my name may mean snake – but I haven’t found them yet. As I write this, I think ‘a snake in the grass’. ‘A lurking danger’ says the dictionary.

Migraine. I wake in the night with delirious thoughts pumping through my brain like blood. I don’t have any control over them and they don’t feel like mine. The words ‘the Devil’s heart’ arrive and then ‘the Dragon’s heart’. I roll over and write them down on the scrap-paper I keep on my bedside table.

Feel less yukky but still weak. Nikki picks up Ellie. I plant out the last of my parsnips and cover them with chicken wire to protect them from the rabbits. Felicity the cat used to keep their numbers down, leaving a headless baby rabbit on my bedside rug most days through the summer. What will happen now she’s gone?

I yield to temptation and stop off at Long Tall Sally on my way to the library in Exeter. I find a black and white African-print top that I think I can adapt to fit. It’s in the sale (and an extra 30 per cent off the sale price) so worth a try. Frog and I spend all evening unpicking it.

Ellie disappears while we’re out walking. I hear distant barking so guess where she’s gone. As expected, she’s licking noses through a neighbours’ gate with their five-month-old Rhodesian ridgeback. I feel mean dragging her away but they did have a long play together on Wednesday while I drank tea with Claire.

I feel crushed as usual at the start of the week by the reality of life. But is it really reality or just someone else’s idea of what reality really is? Does it matter that I don’t have a job, don’t earn money, don’t know what to say when people ask me what I ‘do’?

I want to write a blog post about auras but I’ve been looking for my file of aura portraits for several months. Where has it gone?  I decide to write this one instead as it’s been brewing since the weekend. I censored it because I thought, are people really interested in the minutiae of my life? Wouldn’t it be better to write something serious and informative? I want to include my first attempt at a photographic self-portrait as well. But is that narcissistic?

Where are my feet? Where is the dog? I need more practice.
(The black bag in my hand contains dog-treats, not what you're thinking it does.)


  1. The devil is in the details. I like the details (snake on the path/devil's heart).

    Not having a job/earning money is the 'new black,' and you're taking the rest of your life off, tellem.

  2. Thank you, Signs. I think we need a word for 'not working' - like 'living'. Good to see your new post.