Under the sofa, where I was searching for a knitting needle - they have a sock-like urge to split up - I found a piece of paper with my writing on it. This is what it said:
The illness is catching
To be continued
I was baffled. Had I tried to write some kind of poetry at some time in the past? Why didn't I remember? Could there be a phenomenon similar to sleepwalking involving the writing of bad poetry?
I put the piece of paper on the table and went on looking for the errant knitting needle. It wasn't there, but right up the back I spotted another piece of paper, also with my writing on it.
I pulled it out and studied it.
It all came back to me. This second piece of paper was covered in words in German, the counterparts of the English words on the first piece. They were both part of my lifetime attempt to scale the German language. My plan was to write down words I'd had to look up in any passage I read, write down their English meanings on separate sheets, hide the original lists and try to write down the German words from memory. It was part an ambitious long ago New Year's Resolution.
Proof, if further proof were needed, that New Year's resolutions are silly. And that I'm a hopeless housekeeper.