Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A list of things of which I am afraid

  • Deep cold water
  • Being stung by or even brushing jellyfish while swimming
  • Jumping into a swimming pool
  • Plug hole hair
  • The mocking laughter of strangers
  • People who describe the plots of horror movies
  • Clowns
  • Crocodiles
  • Angry herds of cattle
  • Getting lost in a mangrove swamp
  • Loud dogs
  • Men who walk as if a large space belongs to them
  • Women with scraped back hair, grey faces and hard eyes
  • Adults who shout angrily at their children in public
  • People who want to be noticed in a bad way
  • Meeting a person with whom I used to go to school, and finding that they have not moved on
  • Being misunderstood because I've made a too obscure reference
  • Accidentally plaigiarising
  • Editors of all kinds
  • Having 3BT ragged by AA Gill and Giles Coren
  • Bits of tissue blocking the sinks in public lavatories
  • Putting on more weight and not being able to find any clothes that fit
  • Debt and penury
  • Being crushed by the cogs of bureaucracy
  • Never finding another job
  • The government's attitude to motherhood
  • The power of doctors
  • Falling from a high place because I indulged the temptation to step over the edge
  • Sea mist when the tide is coming in
  • Being too cold to light a fire
  • Falling through ice
  • Dark footpaths
  • Clicking 'submit'
  • Not making it as a writer
  • Failing to write anything good ever again
  • Causing a road accident because I was not paying attention while crossing the road
  • Going upstairs in the dark
  • The house catching fire because I've left the oven on
  • People shouting outside
  • Walking along the top of a mountain ridge when there is a strong wind blowing


  1. Well all this makes me just want to give you a big hug. There's a fen road I often drive down with a deep water-filled ditch alongside.I scare myself silly that my hands will take on a life of their own and pull the steering wheel, forcing me into the water.

    Tilly x

  2. Thanks Tilly!

    Do you know, I read a short story not so long ago on a similar topic?

    Or maybe it was two stories... one about a man cycling forever across the fens with a dead woman clinging to his back; and one about a man who crashed his car into the water and his passenger was a woman with whom he was having an affair; and he escaped, but she didn't.

  3. Great list. As ever, similarities and differences.

    I love this one 'Meeting a person with whom I used to go to school, and finding that they have not moved on' - so true, and so unpleasant when it happens.

    But I find sea mist strangely comforting, it's like a chilly huge from something I love which is in a bad mood that day.