Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Little Book of Time Management

Page One

Plan to do less.

I don't know, maybe it's just me. Do you spend most of your days running round thinking, "I haven't got HALF the things done today that I wanted to..."?

And WHY do we apply twisted logic and assume this means we need to work harder, smarter, faster, more conscientiously.

Any child could tell you the real logical answer.

Plan to do less.

If I'm consistently getting half the things done that I wanted to, I need to learn to want to get less done. Specifically, when I see available time up ahead, I need to stop trying to spend it three times over, under three seperate headings, usually, Home and Family; Dayjob and Writing.

And anyway, we never have a heading on the To Do List that reads, "Unforseen Disasters."

I'm writing this sitting in a howling draught from the computer room window. I could draw the curtain, but we've got some, er, interesting weather outside, and when the wind's howling that hard, I like to be able to see the results. (I also like to talk to people - hence this post). It's part awe-at-nature, part keeping an eye out for sundry parts of our house blowing past...

Oh look. One of the farmers just roared by on his Quad, his white-and-brown dog balanced confidently on the front, paws foursquare, head lowered between his shoulders, nose to the wind. I tell you, given the state of the roads, other road users, the farmer's driving and the weather, that's one skilled dog. He has a huge grin on his face, too. The dog, that is. Not the farmer.

Rambling about the weather is relevant, I promise. I leaped out of bed this morning, put on a load of washing, and tripped merrily into the kitchen to start baking a Triple Chocolate Torte. My tripping went splash.

We've had this now-you-see-it-now-you-don't meandering roof leak in the kitchen for a while. The rain lashes down and you get a dribble. Sometimes in a fine mist, you get a downpour... Today, with strong winds and a light rain, it decided to drench the cupboards and wash over the counter.


Not too big a deal - there was no damage as such, just a lot of water. But the pain is that the water isn't clean - there are things living in our roof - and you have to disinfect everything it touches, and think carefully about cross-contamination.

So, I mop up, disinfect, place new and improved catchment systems (combination of towels, plastic tubs and my new innovation - one of our under bed stores) and phone a roofer. When the wind drops, they'll visit.

I wash my hands. I wash anything I've touched. I wash my hands again, put on an apron and open the baking cupboard.

It smells of gerbils. An evocative scent of childhood and a thousand encounters with the cage-that-won't-clean-itself-you-know.

This can mean only one thing. We have mice.

And, given that this is a household of four cats, next door to a household of five cats, marooned in a sea of feral tribes of cats, they must be mice with GREAT BIG BRASS BALLS.

They've been getting into the baking cupboard through the hole cut for the stop cock. And the really, really like hazlenuts and oatmeal.

So after spending an hour clearing up after the leak, I then spent the next hour cleaning out the baking cupboard, throwing away contaminated food and disinfecting everything else. And blocking up the hole.

I quite LIKE mice. I'm prepared to share. They're just not very considerate guests, you know?*


I'm only halfway through baking the Triple Chocolate Torte. And that was only one of the things I wanted to do today.

Note to self - Plan To Do Less.

*And trying traps and/or poisons would be like trying to hold back the flood waters with a sugar net. Our house backs on to a farmyard. Nuff said.


At 4:15 pm, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

I loathe mice. Yes, they're cute in storybooks and on movies, but NOT IN MY HOUSE. That's the reason I have reluctantly become a cat lover. We have an old house (old for here, anyway - built in 1909) and when the previous owner renovated, it was a DIY job and they left lots of little holes all over the place. Just when we think we've got the latest hole plugged, we hear the mice again. ARGH.

Thankfully, the cat that is now a permanent resident in our house (she used to be just outdoors since I'm allergic) does not make me sneeze and get all plugged up. And she's a rather nice cat. She likes to cuddle and snuggle. And, glory be, she is an EXCELLENT mouser. :-)

At 10:40 pm, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Hooray for your mouser! There's something so satisfying about a cat doing its job... ;-)

Unfortunately our cats can't get AT the mice... they're mostly in the roof spaces and floor spaces and behind cupboards. Sigh.

At 10:00 am, Blogger Jessica Raymond said...

Sounds like one of "those" days. Best laid plans, etc.!

Jess x

At 10:50 am, Anonymous Julie Cohen said...

Your cats need to develop super powers. I'm pretty sure there's a school somewhere you can enroll them in.

Sorry for your frustrating day, hon.


Post a Comment

<< Home