August 31st, 2006

Join Darth

A scientific enquiry into mood

I flew back from Norwich yesterday, Peter Ackroyd's masterpiece "Hawksmoor" clamped solidly in my hands, working solidly through its solid, poetic prose. I felt as miserable as its generally possible to be without having a bloody good reason for it. Life seemed generally pointless and I passed some time on the trip back trying to think up reasons to carry on with it and generally failing. I also managed to read the main bodies of The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent. Which, after a while, began to indicate to me that I might be unconsciousy engaging in some kind of avoidance strategy.

This morning I lay in bed reading the first 30 or so pages of The Salmon of Doubt, Douglas Adams' posthumous collection of essays (and later on, I'm assured, some bits of book that weren't actually finished yet - something I'm not terribly sure about, morally speaking). I then bounced out of bed, feeling rather chipper, played with the cat, opened the curtains, and contemplated the fact that I have the rest of the week off. All in all, I think we can agree that this is a marvellous improvement over yesterday's mood, and should I need to choose my Top ten moods of 2006 I know which one will be on the shortlist.

None of which proves that Douglas Adams makes me happy and gloomy books about insane architects deliberately churches creating monuments to depression whilst recounting their formative experiences during the Black Death/Great Fire of London make me depressed. After all I've also had a night sleeping in my own bed, spent an hour having silly conversations with Ed and Erin, slept with a cat on my feet and had access to part of my friends list for half an hour.

So I shall endeavour, from this point on, to not read miserable books just because they have nice writing. There are more books out there than I can possibly read in my lifetime, and unless there's a damn good reason, sticking to ones that are in some way buoying sounds like a good tactic. Which isn't to rule out books on depressing subjects or set during depressing times, just those that wallow in misery without let-up.

In other news - anyone want a copy of Hawksmoor? You can have it for free.
  • Current Mood
    Much better, thank you very much