It is a week since I disembarked from the 24-hour expedition which brings me to New Hampshire. I think I'm on the clock. I've been thinking that for some days. I've done this trip many time before. I am used to it. Or so I like to think. In fact I harbour the same self-delusion every time. I've come to think it is part of the process. It's a facet of jet lag. And there is no way around jet lag. If you think you have beaten it, it will creep up behind you and slam you into a new miasma.
Holding the kind hand of valium, I had six whole hours sleep over the Pacific last Friday. I have never had such a glorious big sleep in the air. I arrived oh, so perky and full of optimism that a real sleep surely would undermine the old jet lag. Watch me get right on the clock.
Saturday afternoon as we drove home from a lengthy and fairly energetic expedition, I grew noddy in the car. It was pre-dawn in Australia. Naturally my body wanted to acknowledge it. I demanded a large coffee and fought back valiantly. Jet lag be damned.
I woke a little early on the first couple of mornings here, but generally, apart from my digestive system, I seem to be nicely on the northern clock clock. In the afternoons, however, I run out of steam and seemed to squander time in some sort of amotivated haze. The result, of course, is an attack of self-loathing and guilt because there is much I should be doing, that I want to do, I have promised myself to get done... And yet I feel too floppy. Blah. Soporific. Is it the central heating? On Wednesday, returning from a delightful lunch in snowy Nashua with my friend Janet, I almost feel asleep on the couch later afternoon. Bruce came home and found me wrapped in a blanket in a state of torpor. I was quite embarrassed. As if I had been caught being lazy. Today I have no energy and don't want to do anything. I drank three coffees and forced myself out for a brisk walk to photograph the dripping icicles before they melt. It is bracing out there and it helped. But truth is that I am still not myself. I am sluggish and stupid. I know the old power will return. It always does. Eventually. But it is a myth that the west-east jet lag takes only three days. It is a myth I disprove year after year. It is a myth which punishes anyone who is naive enough to believe it. Jet lag takes at least a week. It simply won't be hurried. Ask your bowels. And one of its prime characteristics is that one always gets disoriented about how disoriented one is and how long one has been that way.