I have started off on a massive task - with a deadline in just a couple of weeks time.
Deadlines are good for me - it comes
of those long years as a journalist when deadlines loomed inexorably week after week, along with frayed nerves and constant worry that the rival newspaper would have beaten me to a scoop, on account of their deadlines being later than ours. Unfortunately,
too, this fixation with meeting a target has left me generally unable to work up a head of steam without a deadline to keep me at it.
I know you really,
really want to know all about my latest project and why it has a deadline. The trouble is I can’t tell you because that would mean spilling the beans and so spoiling the surprise for the unwitting recipient. I will therefore simply have to tell you all
about the consequences of my latest Frenzied Bout of Activity without disclosing what it is I am creating. One day soon I will be able to let you in to my secret but for the moment all I can tell you is that I am creating a Right Royal Mess.
No, please don’t be misled by the term “Royal” - Ms Markle hasn’t invited me to the Wedding of the Year, nor has she asked me to (i) design her wedding dress;
(ii) bake her cake; or (iii) plan her Hen Night. This, I am sure you are thinking, can only be A Good Thing, given my record on all such challenges. I use the term “Royal” to indicate that the mess I am creating is no Common or Garden Mess, it
is a cut above. As in, a Right Royal Mess…
This probably wouldn’t matter quite so much were I not going away for a couple of days on Tuesday leaving
the Lovely Louise in charge of Mr B, the house, and anything that might turn up while I am away. It is extremely important, I tell myself, that I leave the everything in order, that there is food in the fridge, that she has a bed with freshly laundered sheets
to sleep in, that the cooker, microwave and fridge are spotlessly clean. It’s reminiscent of those far off days when I was a Working Gal when taking a fortnight’s holiday meant working three times as hard in the lead-up in order to set off to some
sun-filled destination with an Easy Mind.
It would have been sensible, you are thinking, to concentrate on the bed-making, the fridge-cleaning and the food
shopping rather than decide to embark on a Messy Project. The trouble is, once I get something into my head it simply won’t budge until I have set Wheels in Motion. And once I have set those wheels in motion, why, it’s almost impossible to stop
The bed where the Lovely Louise is to sleep is strewn with photo albums, while my bed is groaning under the strain of several large boxes of
the same. The dining room table is covered with pieces of paper, double sided sticky tape, sellotape, scissors, wrapping paper and other Special Activity Related materials. The floor is littered with various scraps of said materials which have escaped from
the dining room table, in a bid to dodge their fate of finally ending up in the kitchen bin. It’s only the fact that I have to cook the Sunday dinner (which, for one such as I who is Always Thinking About My Stomach) takes priority over everything else,
which has led me to turn my attention to Higher Things. As in, a roast in the bag chicken.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters sends me the sweetest video
recording of Faris the Rascal reminding me, excitedly, that there are just “Two more sleeps till Nanni comes!” He breaks off from blowing kisses to point out that there is a spider in the house which he wants me to see. His mother dutifully trains
her camera on a very small spider, high up on the ceiling. I am reminded that when my Foursome were littl’uns and somebody pointed out the presence of a spider’s web, I used to claim it was the children’s latest nature project. Quite shameless,
I’m still the same today. Shameless, I mean, when it comes to putting the important ahead of the urgent.
And yet, and yet. Two more sleeps! Have I really only just woken up to the fact that I’ve another, more immediate, deadline to meet?