My head is going to explode. Perhaps not literally but it feels so full of stuff that I am sure it will go bang at some point. I just can’t handle too much information any more. I can’t carry it around in my head. There isn’t enough space. Jury service has been interesting, stimulating, depressing and exhausting, all in equal measure. After a week, I am so very tired that I stay in bed for most of Saturday and cannot be prised from the sofa on Sunday. I sleep and sleep but still can’t muster enough energy. The court we are sitting in seems to be the very furthest one from the jury room involving stairs going up and then coming down again the other side. I can’t fathom out why. Before undertaking jury service, I did explain that I have trouble with stairs. I didn’t say “I get a lot of pain from going up just one flight and every time I stand up I feel as if I am 100 and none of my limbs work” because that would have been absurd. True but absurd. On the second day of sitting on the case, I remind the clerk that stairs really are painful for me and she asks one of her colleagues to take me round another way which involves going through the Judge’s dining room. Obviously we can only go when they are not eating so it’s the first and last time I get to go that way. The other days I haul myself upstairs, walk what appears to be at least 100 yards and then, and only then, am allowed to take a lift up one flight of stairs. Many of my fellow jurors, seeing I get special treatment, decide they want to take the lift, too, much to the consternation of the clerk whose job it is to keep us all together and not lose one of us.
For the last 2 days we have spent our time wrangling over details, bits of information, facts and the like, poring over actual pieces of evidence and arguing about the merits of the defendant’s case. There is a lot of information, not all of it pertinent to the alleged crime but the details have to be drawn out and picked over so we can form a credible response. And we don’t agree. We are truly divided and I am not for swaying. Sadly, the detail of our deliberations has to remain private but I was not impressed by some of the prejudice I saw and the absolute lack of reasoning power of some of my colleagues. The case was serious and carries a hefty prison sentence if found guilty which requires, in my opinion, a concerted effort to try and reason our way through the evidence. Apparently not everyone thinks like I do.
After reaching our verdict today, I ask if I am able to be released. Engelbert Humperdinck springs to mind. Happily they agree and I am let loose to run free again. But we have a bit of a disaster at home. Mr Mason’s coffee machine has stopped working and we don’t know what is wrong with it. He has tried coaxing it by pressing different buttons, taking all the water out and starting again but it is stubbornly refusing to work and Mr Mason is bereft.
And it’s THAT time of year again. The one where we must send in our tax returns by the end of the month or else we will be hung, drawn and quartered. This year, looking over the financial details of 2012/13, I am catapaulted back into the days of being diagnosed with cancer and the giant hole it made in my working life. Being dropped almost immediately by the company I was contracting with and then working my way through the maze of financial deprivation wasn’t a good thing to look back on. Who wants to look at their finances when they are sick and worrying about whether they will live or not? Not me. But this year will be different, better and brighter. There is a lot to live for.