I'm just recovering from some sort of lurgy (caught, thank you very much Philip Ardagh, on the way back from the Young Minds Award judging evening, about which all I can say is that the other judges were fantastic and so is the VERY SECRET winning book), and last night I had one of those strange memorable dreams that seem to come with the convalescence process. I dreamt I went on a lucid, perfectly sensible rant about how everything is going to shit.
Apologies to anyone who's offended by the s-word (but why are you reading this, anyway?).
The weird thing is, my subconscious seems to be in exact agreement with my conscious, because everything is going to shit.
Public libraries. The NHS. Universities. Climate change. Ebooks. Everything.
I was reading about the 18th-century enclosure laws just before I fell asleep, and my subconscious made the connection: sometimes things happen which are for the worse and never get put right. Dismantle the country now and it won't get stuck together again. Give us the equivalent of the US education system, the US health system, the Siberian weather system, and that will be it.
Why isn't there some rioting, for God's sake?
And it's so depressing, to be angry and completely impotent. I can't bear to listen to the radio any more. It used to be just Any Questions, now it's the Today programme, The World at One, everything. I can't bear it. Last night the only way I could get to sleep was to imagine I'd died and that my body was slowly, gently decomposing into the earth, turning into minerals and moisture. Seriously.
OK, possibly that's why my dreams weren't cheerful. But now I'm awake, I feel exactly the same.
Then again, I s'pose it could be the lurgy talking.