Ahhhhh. Turns out all I needed was a little space to myself, a creativity injection in the form of a short illustration course at Central St. Martins, and a few days of nice weather to cycle in to turn my mood around.
I suppose one of the up-sides to global warming is that, when the oil runs out, there will be no excuse for people not to get on their bikes even in the depths of Winter. Although we'll all be bacon by then, and hopefully the planet will be initialising recovery from the legacy left by the stupidest species ever to walk upright.
So, the cycling. My bike is a big old heavy mountain-bike which takes some beltin'. It is slow - even those miniature folding bikes with wheels the size of plates regularly whizz past me - but I feel safer astride it than I would a dinky little racer, and it copes well with the vast potholes Hackney Council seem to pride themselves on. It has a few lovable quirks, like the way it skips gears when it feels like it, and occassionally decides to lose the chain altogether - what, you didn't want your feet to go flying off the pedals in the middle of a busy intersection?! - and it certainly isn't a good looker.
Still, I have become strangely attached to my flawed hunk of (semi) working metal parts, and it has brought me much happiness.