Jaqui's Daily Blog

The Delights of Enforced Idleness

It's one thing after another. Needing to be fixed, I mean. You would think, wouldn't you, that it might be possible to enjoy, say, two or three days without something needing attention?

Mr B says, sagely, from the sanctuary of his armchair that it was ever thus. When I was a Working Gal, all those many years ago, I simply didn't appreciate (he says) all he did to ensure the smooth running of our home life, from remembering which day the dustbins had to be put out on the pavement for the collection of our accumulated rubbish, to arranging for the occasional cleaning of the windows, to ensuring our car was road-worthy.

All these tasks and more now fall to me, though Mr B would certainly be helping were he able. Most of the time I feel ridiculously accomplished when I manage to carry out everything Mr B would have done without batting an eye-lid. Mostly I find my own way of doing things, to suit myself - you know it makes sense - though from time to time I find myself turning into Mr B when I recognise (mostly through trial and error) that Doing It His Way makes more sense than dogged determination to do a Frank Sinatra.

It does, however, sometimes seem as if no sooner is one problem solved than another, equally pressing, appears on the Home Horizon. Yesterday it was the headlight on the passenger side of my Grand Old Lady which gave up the ghost. Or snuffed it. Or whatever. Mr B said I would have to get it fixed - pronto.

Now I expect most of you reckon I am making a lot of fuss about nothing. Even I reckon I am making a lot of fuss about nothing. It's a headlight, for goodness' sake, not Everest in need of climbing. I go to bed and dream that I can't get booked in for three weeks, during which I am pulled over by PC Plod twice a week and roundly castigated for driving with faulty lights. I wake up at 4 a.m., have a drink of water, go back to sleep - and dream that when I arrive at the garage (presumably having managed to get booked in - my dream is strangely silent on that important point) I can't get parked which means I have to drive round and round the garage forecourt until I wake up.

Does this happen to you, or is it just me? When I wake, nothing seems half as tricky as it does in my dreams. I telephone the garage and a Very Nice Man called Ian says if I bring the car in at 11 a.m. he will fix it forthwith. When I arrive at the garage, would you believe it, I park with ease. Never in my dreams.

Best of all, while I wait for a new headlight to be fixed, I can wait in the garage café where I am served with free coffee and have the choice of newspapers and magazines to help me while away the time. Okay, so lots of the magazines are Motor-Related which wouldn't be my reading matter of choice but there's the latest local paper and a copy of Elle magazine. I've never read Elle before but any magazine named after one of my grandchildren, the lovely Eleanor, must be worth reading.

I do love Enforced Idleness - especially when it is enhanced by free coffee and reading material. While not exactly idleness of an enforced nature, that's what I used to love about my visits to the health club in the days when I could afford membership - a short, if not quick, swim or Aqua-aerobics session, followed by a leisurely half an hour reading the newspapers over a cup of coffee.

At the garage, I have nothing to do but wait and enjoy myself doing absolutely nothing remotely useful. Someone else, out in the oily depths of the Service Section is Fixing My Problem. My headlight is no longer my problem, it is Ian's problem. I can luxuriate in idleness. I can request another cup of coffee. I can flick through the pages of Elle wondering who on earth would ever buy such strange clothes, let alone wear them. I can reflect on the fact that I doubtless only think this on account of my Great Age.

My car is fixed. I am now road-worthy, or at least my Grand Old Lady is. I pay the bill and ponder that perhaps my "free" coffee wasn't quite so free after all.

Ian returns my car keys and informs me that my Grand Old Lady is parked outside, facing in the right direction, all ready to be driven off. How could he possibly know that I'd also dreamt about having to reverse out into busy traffic, unable to see round a blind bend? I drive home feeling happy and unaccountably pleased with myself. Mr B wants to know how I got on.

"All fixed!" I say, airily, "No problems..."

Only in my dreams.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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