Here was me thinking I was getting agitated about the imminent launch of my book, A Gentle Axe. Then there was the small matter that Gentle Axe's publication date (Feb 1) is also the delivery date for my next novel to Faber. I had imagined that that was making me a little uptight too. Plus, I've got a tax return to get in by Jan 31. Not to mention a tax bill to pay. So I had been telling myself that with all that hanging over me it was no wonder I was a tad jumpy.
But no. This morning I realised what it was all about, really. The real reason for my mounting feelings of despair, stress, inadequacy, fear and general inability to face the world was... I've been running out of socks! Somehow, all my socks decided to fail one after the other. A big toe through here. A ripped heel there. And so on, until this morning I discovered that I had no clean pairs of socks in my sock drawer, apart from a thin and holey pair of trainer socks, those evil things that don't even cover your ankles.
As you can imagine, this lunchtime I wasted no time in getting along to my nearest M&S where I purchased no less than 14 pairs of identical black cotton (ankle-hugging) socks. 14 may seem excessive, but you know, you have to allow for the fact that there's always a certain number of pairs in the wash. And I wanted them identical so that I don't have to worry about pairing up. Instead I can draw on a rolling, constantly-replenished 'sock bank'.
Don't worry, I ripped off the trainer socks, and swapped them for one of the new pairs as soon as I was back at Day Job HQ. I feel a lot better now. Calmer. Ready for anything. There really is a lot to be said for socks.