You know you’re going mad when…
You take to the skirting boards with a toothbrush to clean around the cracks.
You panic buy a 65-inch smart TV.
You decide Barry Manilow really does write the songs that make the whole world sing.
You look forward to C. calling you to talk for an hour about the Antonine plague and how it killed Marcus Aurelius in 180AD.
You try out four different new laughs.
You consider reading Ulysses.
Your friends-from-school whatsapp group exchanges uplifting photos of the flowers they have in the house and it descends into an exchange of photographs of self-raising, strong white and wholemeal.
You spend half an hour on YouTube watching videos of babies sneezing.
You clean the windows twice in one week.
You measure, daily, how much sprouting growth there is on the potatoes you’re chitting on the windowsill in an egg box.
You think Wayne Rooney’s beard is really quite nice.
You forget that everyone can see you making faces at the screen and checking out your ‘good side’ during your zoom meeting.
You take Ulysses down from the bookshelf and look at the cover with intent.
You open that jar of chutney you’ve had for three years, sniff it, and wonder if it just might be edible.
You decide to stockpile marzipan.
You go through the shoebox of cards you’ve received in the last four years and re-read every single one (just who is Jemima?).
You count the number of leaves on the weeping fig and create a spreadsheet to track its leaf progress.
You wonder what the birds might be talking about.
You haven’t the faintest notion what month it is.
You calculate, on the basis of twelve squares a day (is that enough?), how long your stock of sixteen toilets rolls might last.
You read all of page one and get halfway through page two of Ulysses.
You speak to the automatic checkout to tell it you brought your own bag, thank you.
You start reading the teabags at the bottom of the pot.
Your flat is so clean you could scream.
You think you might have invented the phrase, ‘pardon my French’.
You sort of fancy Rishi Sunak.
You consider opening the windows and treating the neighbours to your own mezzo soprano rendition of Freddy Mercury’s ‘I Want to Break Free’.
You watch hours of YouTube videos to learn how to make origami storks.
You begin to tear out pages of Ulysses and start making origami storks.
You fall asleep to the voice of Molly Bloom turning over and over in your head, ‘and yes I said yes I will Yes’.
Yes, yes, yes, I am going mad. Are you?