Friday 19 February 2021

Writing and not-writing: Day 3

 Off to a mixed start today. Worrying about having agreed to the latest lot of presentation materials, I decide to make a start on them. They are not urgent (yet) so technically the lowest priority task but I needed to get an idea of how long they might take. I write a complete draft in 30 minutes and realise it will only take another 30 at most to polish it. This is easy money, and reassuring. No sooner am I at the end of it, at 7:30, when MB and her dad turn up. I have to drive them home so I can drop the car off for MOT at the garage near my house. I do that, stopping at the garden centre to buy compost while I have a car — but don't get any as they offer to deliver it, which is even easier. Yoghurt and raspberries and back to work: but now 2 hours have passed and the high of virtually finishing the presentation materials gives way to gloom about other projects. Start with a dinosaur. Dinosaurs are a good way of easing into work.

One dinosaur done and daily Zoom call to the elderly one finished. I read a publishing contract and send an email asking for the changes I want. Suddenly it looks a bit late to be starting anything new before lunch. I realise I don't actually know how many pages/words are supposed to be in the book I was about to start, so delay that till after lunch. I decide to watch London Zoo's cub-cam recordings of baby tigers playing. This is actually work. Yes, I know. I get paid to watch videos of tiger cubs. There are some up-sides to this job! I make notes and wonder if the local zoo is open (they have tigers) or if they are a victim of lockdown. They are not open, it appears.

Nor is lunch; well,  carrots and hummus seems to be all I have. No bread, no cheese, nothing else remotely quick to make. Mental note to self: buy food before tonight as MB is here and will play merry hell if there is no food tomorrow. I read the Atlantic online and water the lemon tree in an attempt to put off the evil moment of actually tackling some real work, but it has to be done. The garage phones to say the car has failed its MoT and I tell them to fix it without asking what it will cost.

I work most of the afternoon, doing a chunk of an outline for a book on the history of science and a bit of admin. Then I walk to the vaccination clinic, just in case (closed) and to Waitrose where I buy a load of reduced stuff including a nice curry for my daughter who's been at work since 7:15 this morning and won't finish till 9pm. I stop off at the garage and beg them for the car, which they have finished but not cleaned, and they give it to me in exchange for many ££s. I go home and eat some of the unnecessary apricot frangipane tart I bought and write a dino spread, then drive over to pick up MB for the night. End of any useful work. I refuse to let her start building the Playmobil ambulance at 8pm. I feed her and read Mrs Pepperpot and we both go to sleep. 

Achievements: cars MoT'd, 1; spreads on dinosaurs, 2; outlines tinkered with (relatively unproductively), 2; rough drafts of sample material completed, 1

Disachievements: most of the day...

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