Just a last minute bonus edition of The Middle Part. I really felt like writing something and the something turned out to be this piece which I hope resonate. Not that because I want people to be feeling out of sorts or frustrated, but that if you are, you know that you’re not alone.

I’m completely out of sorts. 

I wonder if it’s because I’m going into a Cadbury Breakaway Withdrawal. I ate a block and a half yesterday and the days prior to that a Twirl Breakaway before sporadically eating the Cadbury Breakaway by the block-full again. I am not sure when Cadbury decided to get rid of the Time Out, but I only realised once I bought a Twirl Breakaway, I realised what I was missing. Cadbury have long had Breakaway biscuits, a staple in my grandmother’s cupboard but seriously, neither the Twirl Breakaway nor Breakaway biscuit hold a candle up to the Breakaway block. They’re very good value too, being considerably new they are trying to get people to try it so my local IGA had it for $2.49 a block. The BP was selling one block for $7.20 or two for $8 and really, the latter makes strong economic sense. Regardless of the fact I couldn’t sleep last night, and my blood sugar levels are all over the joint. I imagine, I have no real way to measure. 

I am a cocoa fiend really. Each morning I drive to a café to get a hot chocolate. I go to this one as opposed to one within walking distance simply because they have the best hot chocolate, and they are nice, the people who make the hot chocolate that is. Are they still called baristas in that situation? When I am not WFH as they say I go to my local because due to the amount of therapy I have had, I know I don’t need to be friends or liked by the people who make my hot chocolate but the combination of their attitude and my desire to be liked by a stranger makes it an uncomfortable exchange. It seems like a lot of effort for a hot chocolate, but I don’t drink coffee, or booze for that matter and in being the way that I am I think that treats are important. So, my daily hot chocolate is my treat. It also feels like it keeps me from going completely into cocoa withdrawals when I am coming off the Breakaway. If it is not Breakaway it is Perky Nana (Cadbury with banana lollies in), Black Forest (chocolate cookie with cherry jubes – please don’t let the phrase ‘cherry jubes’ put you off, I don’t eat black forest cake but eat this) or Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben and Jerry’s. In a lesser way it’s the Chocolate Mousse cups you can get from the BP, but I don’t go completely round the bend for those. But I do sometimes buy two or three at a time and there doesn’t even need to be a deal. 

On top of the chocolate withdrawal, I am annoyed in general. I can feel the irritation everywhere.  I don’t like the way my wrists are hitting on the laptop as I type, I have this buzzy feeling inside my body, the kind that has been keeping me awake at night and I feel like calling someone and having a very serious rant about the fact my students don’t hand in any work, I never know what to do between the hours of 3 and 5pm (I am hesitant to finish work at a decent time) and that lately, even after I wash my hair, it doesn’t really feel like it’s been washed. I’d also like to add to the list that my lunch is making me thirsty. I made a stir-fry and even though the sauce I used claims no additives or anything like that, no matter how much water or flavoured soda I drink, I still feel like I’ve licked sand. 

To curb some of this frustration, I thought I would read the coming together parts of my Mhairi McFarlane novels. So, I sat at my desk grinning stupidly at these lovely bits in the book. Afterwards I came back to reality and was reminded that when I read them, I feel completely fizzy and out of sorts. Like now, except I am not fizzy I am just out of sorts. I was going to get on social media and whinge about it. Whinge about how today has felt like walking through mud but really could anything make me feel worse? Probably not unless I ate more Breakaway. My out of sorted ness has also resulted in (or was started by) a fuzzy head. So, I figured I needed to anchor myself. So, I sat on the couch with two books, an old favourite, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and I Feel Bad About My Neck. The latter I only read once before but Nora Ephron is such a legend and I remember enjoying it very much, so I bought it. It arrived this morning. As I was sitting on the couch reading, I was also trying to think about the fact I wasn’t working at 3:40pm. I was also thinking that I wanted to watch You’ve Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle or both and that by reading this book I was doing neither. I also lazily picked up Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and threw it back down again, feeling it is, all too hard. 

That’s why I started writing this little bonus of The Middle Part. Because whilst I may not be Zadie Smith with access to a publisher to distribute my thoughts on the beginning of lockdown, I do have this tool which means I can smash something out in my annoyed haze and for it to be out there. Whilst I keep blaming the Breakaway, it could also be the pandemic. You know that saying that what annoys you in others annoys you about yourself? I’m not annoyed at the pandemic, but I am losing my patience with the world and how it is unable to continue as normal. It is probably because I feel I have to continue as normal. Yet there are so many things at the moment that are annoying and slow and fuzzy. And I feel annoying and slow and fuzzy. And I think that’s why I keep eating the Breakaway.