Alison Goulding: ‘Beware of feeling too happy’

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ELEVEN whole days off work is a dangerous thing.

I should know, since I’m sitting here typing in a fog of sadness on the wrong side of such an event.

A week off might have been OK, but the bank holiday stretched it out just long enough for my brain to decided I’d actually retired and would never, ever have to go back to work.

Which was clearly a lie, but I still shoved my work clothes to the bottom of the laundry basket and got on with the business of lounging about in the sun and planning picturesque day trips.

I went to lovely little tea shops and ate home-made cake, played with my friend’s new golden retriever pup, sampled the chilly delights of an open air swimming pool and did yoga in a sports hall and pinged all the muscles in my groin.

The days seemed long and luxurious and all the practical things I had meant to do just drifted away.

Being very lazy seemed utterly essential so I wasted no time sorting the car out (it’s making a very dubious noise, probably because I haven’t put any oil in it for a year) or rounding up my finances (I was planning to sit down and find out why I never have any money but decided ignorance is bliss)

Instead I drifted about in a haze – reading, napping and eating pizza and chicken kebabs.

But we should always beware of feeling too happy.

It tends to swing round, come full circle and strike you in the back of the head like a malicious boomerang.

The tipping point came on Sunday when I realised that the good times were fading, and the spectre of an early alarm loomed large.

Despite the Jubilee flag-waving nonsense (I felt a bit sorry for the Queen, what with the rain and the poorly husband. She must have been dying for an early night and a mug of Horlicks) I could not ignore the truth any longer.

That heavy Sunday night/Monday morning stone was set in my stomach and brought back a thousand memories of my school days when the feeling came like cold water down the back of my neck.

The six-weeks holidays always began at a steady trot before galloping away into the piddly final days of frantic homework and ironing scabby uniforms.

Thankfully my job is a lot less dire than school. It pays the bills, is often entertaining and the kettle is always on.

There’s also no need to attend physics lessons or forge my own notes to dodge PE. Also, the mean rain has helped.

There’s nothing worse than crawling back to work when the sun is splitting the pavements.

So while my fog of sadness has not yet lifted, I’m confident that it will at some point.

Probably about the same time that my very slight tan fades. Swings and roundabouts, eh?