Much as I love my husband, he does have this habit of talking at me. He'll be watching some naff tv programme and next thing it will be Did you hear that?, coupled with a sly glance to check I'm watching it too. Or he'll witter on about nothing in particular: Shall I put the heating on? Yes, if you're cold. What time does daughter finish dance class? Same time as every other week. Shall I fetch her? Matter for you - she has legs, is nearly 16 and is quite capable of walking home from the village. What if she's cold? Well, she'll remember to take her coat next week ...
Maybe I'm a heartless mother and a rubbish wife. But I do spend an inordinate amount of time being taxi, chef, bank and whatever else is required. Sometimes I like a bit of me-time. At the computer. Much of the time I'm surfing, doing my accounts, facebooking or any amount of social-networking and I'm the first to admit I'm a grumpy cow when I'm disturbed. But sometimes - just sometimes - the muse strikes and I'm on a roll. I'm typing furiously and surely he can see that when he wanders in with a cup of tea and puts the television on? We have another television in the lounge, so it's not like he has to be in here with me. But I like to be with you, he says plaintively. Fine, OK, I can just about do tv wittering in my ear, even if it's a documentary about pianos in world war two, or how to build a nuclear reactor from stuff on a scrapheap, or DIY brain surgery or whatever stuff they put on obscure tv channels called Dave (who is Dave, anyway?). And then it'll be Did you see that? No, I'm not watching. Look at this. I'm writing. When are we next getting our hair cut? GO AWAY!
And suddenly my muse decides to go and find somebody more appreciative, and I'm left stranded in a scene in a posh house in South Manchester with a bag of heroin and a new character whose identity I had mapped out in my head and is now dangling head-first into a sub-plot with no hope of reprieve. Thanks, darling.
Don't get me wrong, my husband is very supportive of my writing. But in the same way as he'd support me if I took up knitting, or yoga or star-gazing. In 21 years of marriage I've never known him read a book, ever. Which is fine with me. But at least if I took up yoga, I'd be out of the house somewhere and he wouldn't be able to constantly interrupt me with trivialities. I love him to bits - truly I do - and I don't mean to bite his head off so often. I just wish he'd get what I'm doing sometimes and just sneak in with a glass of wine, cup of coffee or a biscuit and let me get on with it.
My new character is called Caro. I know that much, but who she is is still a mystery so far.