Patterns of behaviour creep up on you, unmeasured against any kind of co-habiting 'control' specimen, until you believe it's perfectly normal to sing your own made-up words to the Strictly Come Dancing theme music, mentioning each of the celebrity dancers and their professional partners, or to have a little chat with your mugs as you're getting them out of the dishwasher.
I don't do these things OBVIOUSLY, but of course the point I'm making is that even if I did, I probably wouldn't know that I did, much less think it in any way eccentric.
And over the weekend, I found myself wondering the following: if I was starting to lose my mind, at what point – if any – would I realise?
I ask this because on Sunday I inexplicably lost the following items within the confines of my small flat:
* 2 sausages, which I had carefully removed from the freezer to defrost
* 1 brand-new box of vitamins, critically important at this germ-ingesting time of year
* 2 concert tickets which had only just been delivered through the post
I searched for them with a level of incomprehension I had not felt since I heard that the winner of X Factor would be recording Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
After an anxious hour, however, I had at least located the sausages. I had put them in the kitchen bin. Clearly this had seemed an entirely sensible thing to do at the time. Perhaps it was the squeamish carnivore in me wrestling for control and making a plea for a vegetarian life. 'You know you want to. You always breathe through your mouth when you're in the organic butcher's.' Or perhaps it is a Genuine Cause For Concern.
I'm sure the tickets and the vitamins will soon tumble out of a coat pocket or, in their silent, inanimate way, shout 'Surprise' when I innocently open a drawer in a few weeks' time. But still. What will come next?
I never care to align myself with any kind of Bridget Jones stereotype because she's stupid and annoying. I am, at least, not stupid. I don't consider that alsatians will end up eating me but this is based on the simple principles of probability. You just don't seem to see as many alsatians around any more. Perhaps that's because I live in London, or perhaps it's just that my perspective has shifted. Now, on the rare occasion that I do see an alsatian, I think 'Oh, a dog,' and instantly return to my default internal monologue about what my next meal might be. However, as a very small child, having been traumatically bitten by a tiny toy-sized Yorkshire terrier outside Bottisham post office, I would probably have seen a strapping alsatian and thought, 'An enormous beast as tall as a house! With teeth like sabres that could devour your arm like it was a Flake!' Even the idea of a Flake would not have stopped the beast haunting me day and night.
I am wandering off-topic. Another symptom. I must rest.