I'm still feeling my way back to work after the long, isolating stay at the clinic. I have a lot of obligations but I've resisted the inclination simply to lock myself away in the studio and paint every hour of the day. Instead, I've taken time to develop a healthy, sustainable, daily routine that might give me not only the physical and mental strength I'm going to need but also the imaginative bandwidth for fresh thinking.My decision to live in a hotel room in the city centre (above) that I pay for by the week, without the commitment of a lease and monthly utilities bills, has been a happy one. Apart from a couple of days during which I was beset by a dark, lonely, soul-sucking gloom – and no, that isn't poetic hyperbole – I've managed to catch up with friends and correspondence, start setting up my new studio and plan several new pieces to work on in between an industrious focus on completing several outstanding commissions. I've put in two hours a day at the gym as well, a form of self-medication that also assuages my vanity.Today, I cleaned my studio and made it partially secure with new locks for the doors. I ordered a large plexiglass sheet, drilled with air-holes, to block access from a studio next door but still let in plenty of light. Tomorrow, I'll freshen up the walls with a coat of matt white paint, then bring in my heavy duty aluminium trestles, a table-top and some comfy furniture. By mid-week, I should be producing the long-awaited, limited edition series of The Yes/No Stencils – email me if you'd like to order one – and prepping timber boards for two large enamels.I'm allowing myself to look ahead again – to new work and new exhibitions – but like a mountaineer, I remind myself that, right now, it isn't the summit that matters but relentlessly putting one foot in front of the other in the right direction.