I did something bad this week, something very, very naughty. I had a day off. A whole day doing nothing at all, other than gathering cobwebs between my daintily-formed ears. Sleep late, get up and drink many cups of tea, make nice lunch of spare ribs and corn on the cob, eat aforementioned lunch, watch some TV, cat comes and sleeps on lap, can't get up as it will disturb cat, watch more TV with cat lap warmer, talk to cat, flick through channels, drink more tea, watch film, cat comes back for second time and falls asleep lying flat on her back with legs akimbo, watch cat dream about disembowelling small rodents, pop open bottle of wine and make tea.

All very nice, until about half-past nine when I found out that due to and unexpected mix-up, the article thing I thought I had till the middle of next week to do turned out to be needed by the next day instead. But other than that it was a no-holds barred relaxathon.

Now we all know that proper writers don't have days off. Weekends don't exist. Every day is a working day. Days off are for wimps! WIMPS!

Days off are Satan's woodland-themed stepping stones on the path to missed deadlines. You know, the really tacky ones made out of cast concrete that are supposed to look like slices of tree trunk only someone seems to have flattened a squirrel on them? Those ones. They're Satan's favourites. Along with Reality TV and white socks with black shoes, obviously. And caravans. And anyone who buys 'celebrity autobiographies'. And Ruby Wax. And ... let's just leave it there, shall we?

Still, at least my study's tidy again -- you can actually see the desk and the carpet for once, I was beginning to forget what they looked like under the welter of Post-it notes, bits of paper and assorted books. That's something, isn't it?

Deadline be damned. DAMNED I SAY!!!

Just don't tell HarperCollins I said that.

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