I hadn’t expected it. In one Call the Midwife that we watched featuring the elderly lady who had been a suffragette in her youth and imprisoned, talked about the sleeplessness during their hunger strikes. That was the worst of it, that and the hunger, she said. And I only did a day. The other unexpected symptom were the palpitations. My heart was racing. It couldn’t calm it. So we talked about it. And he quoted Maynard Keynes, something like, when the facts change, I change. It helped. So a rice fast it is. I had my first portion this morning. Plain brown rice with a little oil. It sits a little heavy in my gut but it is nice not to have that yawning hunger pulling my chest inward.

A cloudy morning. Heavy. A few drops on my head as I walked. More and more shops are opening. The cafe, that used to be Lilley’s, is now offering takeaways, and the hairdressers that I thought had gone out of business has merely been refurbished and looks raring to go when they are allowed to open next month. We talk of what I should do come July. I want a new job, part-time, with regular hours and no take home work, so that when I’m home I can concentrate on my writing and my making. Thinking of it, the application processes and the toll they take on my self-esteem gave me indigestion. Let’s not think of it now, he says, let’s leave it for now. OK. But I need to send out a request so that something will come, something will wait for me. When it’s time. I walk past the bakery and yearn for that cosy, warm busy-ness. Romantic I know. All that standing would take its toll. It’s the smell really. Heavenly. Simplicity. That’s it. And usefulness.

He’s going to bring me gooseberries later. They are from her allotment. I can’t eat them yet, so in the freezer they will go. Ready for the breaking of the fast.

I need to get back to my writing. And I will next week. I promise.