Do you ever feel profoundly useless? Completely at odds with the world around you?

Last night, I had enjoyed a tasty dinner made with tomatoes I harvested from my own vine three minutes before roasting them. I felt smug. Having finished eating though, I was thrown into a quandry. Now what? I didn’t fancy watching TV, there was nothing on that sounded remotely appealing. Oh god, they’ve launched yet another Big Brother and really, who cares?

Of the many reasons I decided to grow my own tomatoes this year, one of the most pressing was my need to save some money against possible house purchasing sometime in the future. Now, the trouble with saving all your spare pennies is it makes spending money seem wasteful, because hang on, if I buy that now…I’ll have to wait another month until I can stop with all this hardcore ‘saving’ stuff.

Thus, my problem; no wish to watch TV, no money to buy a book, all the free magazines I get (friends pass them on to me because they know I love them and would be sad if my money-saving efforts equaled no magazines at all for a year) focus on buying things and to top it off, it is raining which means to go somewhere other than home, I would have to buy a drink, or a meal, or a cinema ticket or something to be allowed inside. The only activity I could come up with was embroidery or board games and frankly, I couldn’t find a needle and it was a bit late by then to embark upon a game of chess.

Trouble is, far from appreciating the luxury of free time in which to thoughtfully meander through possible pastimes that are both enjoyable and cost effective (read: free), I just felt an overwhelming uselessness. There are people all over the world who do not have the privilege of turning their nose up at the TV, at books they have already read, at the knowledge that you do, in fact, own specialised sewing, embroidery and upholstery needles but you can’t be bothered looking for them and that your personalised chess set is moldering under the bed.

Instead of galvanising me into action to bring these pleasures to a wider audience of grateful people, or to even do something to help in general, it just made me feel more useless – because to help means donating money – which I don’t have – or giving my time in a particular place…which costs money to get to in the first place.

What a mad circle of circumstance!