Did you have a good day? I thought not. There are those days when I come home totally shattered. Then I can only assume that my previous life was one of untrammelled hedonism, reclining on soft pillows made from the hides of endangered species whilst sipping stolen champagne from jewel-encrusted chalices. I sure as hell am paying now, I only wish I could remember more of it… Anyway, home now and a little treat is required. But stay that hand as it reaches towards the wine bottle – there is a literary option, much kinder to the liver and less likely to impact on the next day at the cliff face (which sadly will dawn). I will escape into a book.
Last week on Radio 4 (I know – blame my age, my education and an inability to work the dials on the radio) Terry Waite was saying how one of the things that helped him through his incarceration in Lebanon was the ability to escape in his head via a mental bookbank of great literature. He didn’t have a book to hand, but he had in his memory the poems and passages he had memorised throughout his lifetime (consciously and unconsciously) and on which he could draw. The mental exercise of remembrance and the pleasure of the words helped immensely in taking him to another far more pleasant place than the one in which he found himself. He chose reading to escape.