The Tragicomedy of Revision
Or How Love And Labour Were Both Lost
This sunny weekend I have been mostly at home, looking after my sniffly cat in my mother's absence. It was all going to be so perfect. I'd have lots of time with no distractions to revise, a cat for company and a beautiful weekend to sit out in a garden that isn't just a square of concrete with a plastic carport roof.
So I gaily packed all my books into Coco on a hot Friday morning, crawled up the M6 at 30mph most of the way, and arrived home roughly five hours later with an insect graveyard for a windscreen. I believe this is what Macbeth might have seen as a portent. (If I'd actually started revision a bit earlier I might have picked up on this.)
Because, you see, since my mother left, on Saturday morning, a somewhat uncomfortable and semi–murderous menage a trois has developed: me, my cat, and Shakespeare.
Obviously, they both need my attention. But unfortunately, due to a combination of sniffles, drool and general movement (cat) and just being too damn heavy (the Complete Works) the three of us cannot all be together at the same time, in perfect harmony. Which is a shame, as it means that whenever I have the cat on my lap, Shakespeare upbraids me from the corner, and whenever I pull out my books, the cat jumps up and threatens to drool all over the pages, which would be fine except that I don't think her markings will be significant enough to help me in an exam situation.
I can't leave them alone together, either. I've caught her sharpening her claws on Shakespeare when she thinks I'm not looking, and there was a particularly nasty attempted murder when Shakespeare took a plunge off the kitchen table, missing her by a cat's whisker (literally). I've had to start having secret assignations with Shakespeare in my bedroom when she is downstairs eating, and she gets early morning cuddles when Mr William believes I am just taking a breakfast break.
All I can hope now is that things take a turn for the better, and this plays out as a comedy, where the cat starts crossdressing as a tom, there's some jolly japes with box hedges, my mother returns in disguise with a guiter and everyone gets happily, suddenly and unsuitably married off.
However, the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if I turn up in Leamington next week wandering around in a shift, raiding the herbs and spices rack, and pressing oregano and dried bay leaves on my unlucky friends and relatives.
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