Tag Archives: procrastination

Holiday Time

Julia was on holiday today, a fact which she celebrated by waking up at 5am just like it was a working day. After a brief lie in she carried on the holiday frivolities with an outbreak of cleaning before making breakfast.

The woman just doesn’t know how to relax.

She could profit, in this respect, from watching how I do it.

When breakfast appeared I decided to join her.

It wasn’t quite as simple as that. It never is. First I tied my feet together whilst stepping into my pants, then I noticed I’d put my vest on back to front. Two items of clothing, two problems. Even toddlers do better than that. The process of putting my trousers on, which has often been attended by a certain amount of peril went without trouble this morning so at least something went right.

After that I did the laundry and the shopping. Reference to other blog posts that list my Sunday activities will reveal that Julia isn’t the only one who hasn’t quite got the hang of holidays.

I also managed to write up most of our visit to Cleethorpes as I need to catch up on my writing about pier visits.  That just leaves Skegness. I say that, but as you may have guessed, the holiday is likely to encompass a few pier visits and I’m likely to end the week with more of a backlog than I started with.

The trouble with my ambition to elevate procrastination to an art form is that there will always be a list of jobs to do.

I may write a haiku about procrastination, as it seems a suitably zen subject.

With any luck I’ll get round to it tomorrow…

 

Haiku, clerihu and an idle moment

I’ve successfully procrastinated the morning away since dropping Julia at work. I blogged, I slept, I composed twelve haiku on modern subjects, I reflected on Clerihews and their superiority to haiku and I replied to a few comments. I even read one post from someone else. It was fascinating, though it didn’t seem promising at first. Try Repro Arts of Great Yarmouth. It’s a print shop, but one that has made at least one fascinating blog post. I say “at least” because I have not yet read any of the others. They may all be fascinating, but in line with my theme for the morning, I’m going to read the rest later.

I recently invented a new poetic form – the haiklerihew. So far the world’s stock of haiklerihews is one. It’s probably all we need. I’m thinking I might have a crack at the clerihu next, though amalgamating a four line humorous poem nobody values with a three line nature poem that people are very serious about could take some doing.

 

from ancient Japan we have Basho

who never has gone out of fashion

deep in the woodlands

a nature cliche gestates

serious poem

 

I’ve amalgamated the first two lines of the clerihew, with the name, then added a haiku underneath. Clerihews, for those of you who have missed previous efforts, are allowed to be bad in terms of rhyme and scansion. I think I have achieved that here.

The haiku is a bit unkind, but some of them are a bit cliched in terms of the nature reference – I know mine are. I’ve used the 5-7-5 syllable format which is now seen as a bit old-fashioned – that way you can tell it’s a haiku. I had to change woods to woodlands to get the five in the first line, which is in the bad poetry tradition of the Clerihew.

All in all, a satisfactory poetic form, and much better than the haiklerihew.

I’m now going to brace myself for death threats from haiku poets.

Writers of Clerihews are much more laid back.

Another New Week

Well, it’s another new week and it’s a blank canvas full of possibilities and the potential for cliches.

I rose early, did a word puzzle and then sat and decided what to do. I decided to do more sitting, and did another word puzzle. These aren’t intellectual exercises by any means but at 6.30 my brain isn’t necessarily prepared for heavy lifting.

Breakfast consisted of a pear, a small citrus fruit (I lose track of all the names they use these days) and two turmeric capsules. As a dietary regime it could probably do with some fine-tuning.

My first TV selection was what I refer to as “classic comedy”. That could equally be “very old repeat” as it was a 1982 episode of Minder – the Birdman of Wormwood Scrubs. That’s the episode where they refer to a male Bullfinch, but show a female Chaffinch. After that I lost interest in the assorted rubbish on offer and concentrated on the computer.

Looking through the Q&A section of ebay to increase my knowledge of the system I was struck by the fact that though many of the world’s resources are decreasing the supply of idiots shows little sign of slacking off.  If we could harness stupidity and get it into a fuel tank we wouldn’t need electric cars. I won’t dwell on the subject, as we don’t have the technology for this, and the waste upsets me.

Now, as the clock creeps round to mid-day I realise that a touch of TV, two word puzzles, some light blogging, a quick breakfast, and a bit of ebay, has absorbed five hours of my life.

No wonder I don’t get the washing up done.

 

A Day for Small Jobs

I started off by delivering Julia into servitude at 8.30 this morning. She’s not fond of Thursdays as she has to rush across town at 4pm to get from one job to another before finally being allowed home at 8pm.

Then I went to Newark. It was cold, business was non-existent and the tale of the last two weeks was one of cold, snow and poverty. After an exchange of cards, a cup of tea and a laugh about old times (there’s nothing to laugh about at the moment) I went browsing in W H Smiths looking for writing paper. I didn’t find any. The notes in my Christmas cards will, as a result, be written on paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook. To be fair, this is a more accurate reflection of me than smart writing paper.

A trip round Wilkos netted a tin of Vaseline lip-care products for Julia, a bucket of fat balls for the birds for £4 and a chicken and stuffing sandwich for £1. Yes, I know, I’m not supposed to be eating bread. However, as I’d already treated my self to a sausage and onion cob for breakfast I didn’t think a chicken sandwich was going to do too much extra damage, either to my waistline or my digestion.

From there it was a quick trip to the doctor to put in some prescription requests and on to TESCO for healthy veg and new gloves.

Resisting the urge to go home I visited the shop to drop off Christmas cards to my new colleagues (I’m such a creep) and helped with the delivery of two new cabinets for the new shop. It’s starting to take shape.

I then went home, supposedly to post on the blog but actually to engage in a variety of displacement activities, including sleeping in front of the TV, watching TV, checking ebay, picking Julia up from work, browsing the internet, writing notes to go in Christmas cards and warming up soup. I was tempted to say “cooking” but I’m pretty sure preparing soup and a sandwich isn’t cooking. We normally have something more substantial but after a day that saw us both deviating from our diets we thought we’d cut back a bit.

I even managed to do a bit of reading, having bought the Kindle edition of Maya and the Book of Everything by Laurie Graves. It’s going quite well so far. We’re right into the action and moving along nicely and there’s no boring stuff about chivalry or whales. She is therefore already ahead of Cervantes and Melville in my estimation. On the minus side there’s a definite lack of talking animals, though Sir John Oldcastle is about to make an appearance. I like Sir John.

 

 

The calming effects of bread

We had our regular Monday meeting after I posted last night. I was planning on slipping away before it started but I was a little slow off the mark and ended up cornered by a man with a clipboard and a mission. That mission was to have a meeting about the meeting we are having today.

There’s no helping some people, they just need meetings. They have a naive belief that meetings get things done.

Don’t get me wrong, the procrastinator in me adores meetings; you can waste so much time arranging pencils and cups of tea that by the time you hand it over to the natural-born filibuster (and all groups seem to have one) their job is almost done. However, procrastination is about me killing my own time. Meetings are about people stealing my time, which is quite different.

So, with another meeting in prospect this afternoon, I am despondent, to say the least. I am also dismayed, downcast and depressed. And downbeat.

In order to raise my spirits I am meditating on bread.

I’m thinking of running a class to make wheatsheaf loaves nearer the time of harvest festival, because several people have mentioned them and everyone seems to like them.

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Wheatsheaf loaf

 

Bread doesn’t waste your time, it doesn’t talk over you and it has no secret agenda. You can punch it, you can cut it and you can stick it in an oven without fear of a custodial sentence. And above all, you can speak your mind to it and it won’t sulk.

I like bread.

 

 

Pointless success!

I spent yesterday ‘working from home’. I’ve always thought of it scornfully as a 21st Century euphemism for doing very little, and that was how it turned out.

I managed a leisurely breakfast, a trip to the library and a lift to town for Julia, then did about an hour of paperwork. Fortunately, as my paid work is pretty flexible, I will still put in my hours in the rest of the week so no harm done. It is, as generations of teachers have said, my own time that I’m wasting.

At the end of the day I washed up, made a venison casserole, roasted some vegetables and washed up again. That concluded the “work” element of the day, but that would have needed doing anyway.

In the middle of the day I read a portion of Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson as part of my plan to read better books. It’s on my Kindle, so I can’t tell you of my progress in terms of pages, just that it was about 30%. Pages would be meaningless anyway, as I have the type size turned up so I can read without glasses. There aren’t many words to a page at that setting!

Sleep also took part of the day as I drifted off after lunch and woke an hour and a half later to find that, with the heating off, I felt cold and my joints felt stiff. Now I know what rigor mortis is going to feel like.

Finally, whilst watching Pointless, I hit on two pointless answers in the final round. Usually they select film or football as topics and I can’t even come up with the required three answers. This time they chose politics, which is also usually pretty dire for me. However, the subject was 19th Century British Prime Ministers. I went for Lord John Russell and Lord Aberdeen but I hesitated over Lord Derby or Lord Salisbury. I went for Salisbury. Turns out I should have gone for Derby, which would have given me three pointless answers. Viscount Goderich made up the fourth of the pointless answers in case you’re interested – he was in power between Canning and Wellington but I don’t remember him at all. I’m going to have to brush up on my Prime Ministers, though, as Meatloaf says ‘two out of three ain’t bad’.

 

 

 

 

Numbers…

It’s been a good day, though if I piled up all my work achievements I could still slip the pile under a reasonably well-fitting door. I took my wife to breakfast, found that I’d won £25 on the lottery, cleaned my keyboard, sent some emails, agreed a lunch menu for a visiting group, wrote a shopping list and showed somebody round the centre.

Readers in years to come are going to read this blog and wonder why I was never as famous as Samuel Pepys. Possibly.

Things got so bad that I’ve just cleaned out some cupboards, and that tends to induce a state of trance in which my mind wanders. This is generally not thought (by my wife at least) to be a good thing.

Subjects for blogs:

Post number 500, if I can synchronise it with an October date, which I think I can, already has a subject.

165 posts after that I can probably think of something for post 666 (unless I develop a severe case of hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia)

999, though tempting, will probably fall at the hurdle of transatlantic language difficulties, being our version of the American 911.

To find more numbers I just looked up 25 Famous Nnmbers and why they are important, but they weren’t very interesting, or important and I ended up here instead. Then I tried this. So I now have a new number to consider – 7. As in 7 Best Ways to Waste Time on the Internet. Or eleven, nineteen, thirty three or fifty.

Where did the last hour go?