Sunday, 14 April 2013

Loud here, loud there

I've learned two things this week. One, that if your flu is bad enough, it's perfectly possible to sleep even though a demolition crew is breaking a concrete floor in the basement below you, and two, that libraries aren't the safe havens of silence they were in my childhood. These two lessons aren't unrelated.

I've had a very unproductive week. Mostly it's because of the aforementioned flu. I've simply been uninterested in anything that might strain my brain in any way. Or maybe because I've been busy extracting the said brain through my nose. Feels like it anyway. And partially it's because of the work being done in the basement of my building. They're renewing the sewage pipes, which means they need to access them first, through a thick layer of concrete. So they're chiselling the floor open; an infernally loud work. Think of a road crew with their huge jackhammers, but indoors.
Not my local library.
Since I've been unable to leave home for most of the week, I've had to endure the noise. Earplugs have been a must. The workmen have begun around seven in the morning, which is very cruel for someone in need of sleep. Luckily, the flu has made me so tired that, with the help of the earplugs, I've been able to sleep soundly. Later in the day, though, even the earplugs haven't been able to block the noise well enough for it not to irritate me, making me unable to work. Making me unable to read too, actually.

Therefore, when I was finally well enough to leave home, I fled to the central library of my town. It's a huge, modern place with many reading corners and study desks all over the building. Turned out, most of them were taken by the time I got there; apparently you have to arrive the first thing in the morning to secure a good place. And it turned out too, that people occupying them didn't really care to give others peace and quiet. There were phones ringing, people having conversations and large groups of teenagers being generally loud. No sign of the rigid adherence to silence I remember from my childhood that made libraries such soothing places. Looking around, I noticed quite a few people wearing earplugs there too. So, I decided that if I had to wear the damn things anyway, I might as well do so at home. Besides, I turned out to be one of the loudest coughers in the library; just because other people vere noisy, didn't mean I felt comfortable doing it.

All of this is to say that the paperback version of Which way to love? isn't ready yet. The kind of detailing the work required was beyond me. The good news is, however, that having been practically idle the whole week, my mind got enough rest to start planning a new book. Now I can't wait to get the paperback done so that I can start writing again. It's going to be another Two-Natured London novel, so my apologies to those who were waiting for the follow up for At Her Boss's Command; that won't happen until the later this year.

Of course, none of this will happen until the blasted work crew stops harassing me with the noise. But it might take another week before they're done. I hope I can make it through.

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