Why disco lights are like rollmops and wool.

The sun shone through my kitchen window this morning in all its glory. Hanging in the window is a small version of one of those mirror glass, multi-faceted disco balls. As the sun splintered among the tiny mirrors, it filled the kitchen from floor to ceiling with a million droplets of light.

The dog came into the kitchen and noticed the light show. I pushed the glitter ball, sending the lights swooping across the room, and she went absolutely bananas! She leapt and scraped and slammed her front paws on the floor trying to capture the lights as they danced beneath her feet. She banged her nose on the carpet tiles trying to catch the lights in her mouth, and as soon as she bagged one, she twisted and sprang onto another. She was so excited, ears pricked, her tail swishing like a biplane propellor, lost in some manic fixation, and totally unable to focus on any one spot of light before shooting her attention off to another.

I watched her in amusement, and realised how like her I can be when I’m in one of my more “energetic” moods.

When my mood swings to the upper levels of my mood chart, I will also jump from one focus point to another, and another … and another.

I suddenly have the attention span of a wingnut. I can’t focus on anything for long, bouncing between projects, getting up, sitting down, pacing back and forth, thinking up a string of “lightbulb” ideas in quick succession…. I need to start making my own cider! I just have to build a barbecue in the back garden!  I want to create mosaic masterpieces to rival Gaudi!  My life is not complete unless I knit a patchwork blanket!  I have to share my creativity and make all my Christmas presents this year!  I need to quit my job and start my own photography business!  I owe it to the world to write a book – in fact, I’m going to write a trilogy!

All these aspirations are not beyond my ability, and as I sit right here, right now, I really would love to do them. The trouble is that when I’m on one of those days when the dot is placed firmly in the “high mood” area of the mood chart, there’s no time to lose!  I need to find all the materials required for the project of the moment, and I need them immediately. The sense of urgency is overwhelming.  It’s not beyond me to race out to Dunelm Mill twenty minutes before closing in sub-zero temperatures to buy 21 balls of wool, or ASDA at two in the morning because I need a new, unlined journal to write in. I’ve waited hours to bid on boxes full of old crockery at auction houses to fulfill my need for china to smash and grout into a mosaic. I’ve headed to car boot sales at six in the morning in search of a wooden cat. And I’ve dived into more than a few dumpsters to save numerous “perfectly useable” pieces of junk from the landfill.

It reminds me of the feeling I had when I was pregnant and had an overwhelming craving for pickled herring rollmops. I was living on my own in Louisiana in the States at the time, and early one evening when I was six months pregnant, I needed rollmops. I needed them so much, I immediately drove 45 miles to Baton Rouge with the intention of buying a big jar containing about 100 of of them from Sam’s Club. But the Sam’s Club in Baton Rouge didn’t have any jars left …. so I drove 85 miles to New Orleans to the Sam’s Club there, where I bought the most enormous jar of rollmops I’d ever seen and drove my prize another 65 miles home.

What has resulted from all of these wonderful ideas I hear you ask?

Well …

In the case of the rollmops, I gorged two …. and then I didn’t want any more.

I did complete one blue knitted “square”, 4 inches by about 3 and a bit, and I have to say I’m rather proud of it. But, much like pickled herrings, I lost interest in knitting after that, and the other 134 squares needed for a blanket are still on hold. I did collect several wheelbarrows full of old bricks (on my own!) from a demolished wall down the road in order to build my barbecue, but they have now been sitting in a rather unsightly pile in my back yard for the past 18 months. And I did paint a glass vase for a friend of mine last Christmas. Unfortunately, I left it to the last minute, and when she unwrapped it, the tissue paper had stuck to the not-entirely-dry glass paint.  She smiled, and said it looked “arty.”

Anyway, my cellar and attic are filled to the brim with gadgets, materials, and bits and pieces that I just had to have in order to fulfill a multitude of fantastic ideas I’ve had over the years, and I’m loathe to get rid of any of them, because I just know that as soon as something is gone, I will need it again.

But … if anyone out there has a use for seven pots of glow-in-the-dark wall paint … or perhaps a 2m x 100m roll of sticky back plastic … or four bin liners full of fabric cuttings … or a complete set up for a photographic dark room … or  a partly made Airfix Concorde … then I guess I’m open to offers.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

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