I can tell my resolve is slipping when I find myself sweeping the kitchen floor at 3 p.m.
I do sweep my kitchen floor once
a day, I’ll have you know, but it’s an early morning job. It fits in between washing up the breakfast dishes and sorting out the white wash for the washing machine. It’s not the kind of job for a Sunday afternoon, oh no.
I am procrastinating, I tell myself as I seize the hand-brush and sweep a few small crumbs into the dustpan. I roll the word around my tongue. Procrastination. It really is a
quite splendid word. The fact that I am even engaging in this conversation with myself is another excellent example of Delaying Tactics.
“I think I’ll
go for a swim,” I told Mr B at lunchtime, as he prepared our scrambled eggs. Mr B said that was fine by him. I think it had crossed his mind that Tottenham Hotspur was playing away to Swansea and the match was being televised. Much as he
loves my company (I am assuming that he loves my company, he has never actually said he doesn’t) he would always prefer to watch footie without me. This is because I like to comment on things like the players’ hair-cuts, the colour of the away
team’s strip, the celebration dances when anyone scores a goal. Mr B would like me to keep my comments to the actual play but I am not prepared to demonstrate my ignorance of the off-side rule for anyone. Does anyone remember that fifty pence coin they
minted for the Olympics which had a diagram on the back explaining the off-side rule? Or did I just make that up?
So at lunchtime I really was intending to head
off to the health club for a swim. I was, I honestly was. Then I sat down for a bit, to let my scrambled eggs go down. My dear Mum was always telling me to let my food go down. It’s only now that I am all grown-up that I have started to become obedient.
It was while I was sitting there, waiting and wondering how far "down” my scrambled eggs needed to go and how I would know when they got there, that my eyes came over all heavy and I thought I would just close them for a bit. It must have been the long
walk to and from church this morning that did it.
When I eventually opened my eyes, while pretty sure that my scrambled eggs were well and truly “down”,
all my feelings of intent had dissipated. In other words, I was no longer at all sure I felt like a trip to the health club. All that changing out of my clothes and donning a swimsuit. The shower beforehand. The long, slow lengths. The shower afterwards.
The getting back into my clothes. OK, I would enjoy reading the Sunday papers over a skinny latte but those precious moments of relaxation would come at a price.
wandered into the kitchen and emptied the dish-washer. Then I loaded it with the lunch plates. Then I half-heartedly attempted to wash up the pan in which Mr had cooked the scrambled eggs before deciding to leave it to soak for a bit. That’s when
I fetched the broom, dustpan and brush from the cupboard and attacked the kitchen floor.
“Are you going swimming?” Mr B wanted to know. I checked the
clock. “Bit late now?” I queried, more to myself than to him.
So here I am, making a start on the beautiful1000 piece jigsaw puzzle which the Eldest
of the Darling Daughters gave me for Christmas. I have sorted out all the edge pieces which all look exactly the same. I think this puzzle is going to be a bit of a challenge.
Jigsaw puzzles were a feature of Christmasses past, when my sister’s family and our family came together for the festive season, one year at our house, the next at her’s. There was always a jigsaw puzzle on the go
and many a night we were still up at midnight, unable to go to bed until the last piece had been fitted. There was always one person who had secreted a piece in the pocket of their pyjamas, for the sheer pleasure of producing - and slotting in - the very
last piece. One year I distinctly remember we had six pieces missing at the final countdown. Where were they? we demanded, my sister and I. Six small hands delved into their pockets and shamefacedly produced the missing pieces.
It looks as if I will be doing this jigsaw puzzle on my own. Mr B is not showing any interest at all, though he may change his mind when I get on to the interesting bit in the middle. I will
be sure to keep you posted on my puzzle progress.
Is it too late for a swim?