When the Youngest of the Darling Daughters visited last week, she expressed her admiration at the results of my efforts at de-cluttering the downstairs rooms in our house. She knows me well enough, of course, to be aware
that much of the clutter will probably have been found a new home upstairs somewhere - where it will remain until such a time as I decide to de-clutter the bedrooms. At which point the whole de-cluttering / cluttering cycle will begin again.
However, let’s not take away from the fact that I had done A Really Good Job, though I say so myself as shouldn’t. My daughter was particularly impressed by the fact that
I could now, should I so wish, sit down at the breakfast bar and have, well, breakfast on account of the surface having been cleared of (I) my Fairy Garden; (ii) a yellowing pile of unread newspapers and magazines; and (iii) several coloured beakers full of
biros, felt tip pens, pencils and crayons (kept there just in case I might need to write something or other.) I could even, my daughter pointed out, invite friends over for coffee, knowing I would have a quiet space in which we could sit and chat, rather than
share the living room with Mr B and whatever programme was on TV at the time. Mr B likes his TV turned up to full volume, too, making conversation a trifle difficult.
It is such a good thing my daughter cannot see what has happened since her visit. My hall, kitchen and living room have been completely taken over by a tsunami of paperwork in which I am currently drowning.
Regular readers may recall that my friend Sue from Choir (not to be confused with Spurs Sue or Birdy Sue or Crafty Sue) and I have “volunteered” to take over the organisation of our Singing
for Pleasure Choir. I say “volunteered” in inverted commas because it was one of those cases where everybody else in the choir took a metaphorical step back when the search for a new leader began, leaving Sue and me having apparently stepped forward.
On Friday Myra, who has been running the choir for eight years and deserves a rest, phoned to say she would bring me round all the paperwork we would need as Group Leaders.
I thought this would probably mean a few spare red files of music which used to belong to former members and which we would need to pass on to all the new members we are hoping to attract. It turned out to be rather more than a few files. In fact it took five
or six trips from Myra’s car to our hallway, using my small, somewhat battered, trolley to transfer everything into my shrinking possession. It was just A Rather Good Thing that neither Mr B nor the Youngest of the Darling Daughters could see the state
of our hallway.
Now, Sue has kindly offered to find space for our filing - but I couldn’t pass on the problem without at least making a start on bringing
some kind of order to the chaos, especially as she is away till tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be good, I told myself, if I could sort through all the bags of papers, discard everything we didn’t need and make up at least five or six complete files of music
for those potential new members who don’t know as yet what a fine time they are going to have when they join us?
Sue would have laughed her head off. It
is a running joke between us that I always arrive at choir with my music all over the place and I always leave promising her that I will sort it out over the course of the week. Come the following week, I would turn up and have to admit that I hadn’t
touched the bag containing my file since arriving home from choir and hanging it up on the door of the cloakroom cupboard. Shouldn’t I first think about getting my own house in order before starting on anyone else’s? For “house”, obviously,
I have spent the whole weekend on this unexpected paperwork project. I had vivid dreams on Saturday night of hundreds of sheets
of music raining down upon me, to the accompaniment of “Haste, ye nymph” which boasts one of my favourite last lines about “laughter holding both its sides.”
I have now completed no fewer than seven files, sorted out a box full of sheets of music which we don’t sing at the moment but might want to revisit, and compiled a lever arch file of Christmas music which we will certainly want to sing when the
Time Is Right. It is true what they say - that you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs - so there is still paper, paper everywhere. This is doubtless why Laughter is watching me and holding both its sides, the cheeky wotsit.
One more day should do it. Then, Laughter, I shall have the last giggle and it will be me holding both my sides.