“The thing is, before I retired, I used to rush around on a Sunday trying to get everything done. But I’m finding now that I say ‘I’ll do this, that and the other tomorrow’ and do something else instead. Then whatever it was never gets done. Do you find that?”
Mrs Rumpole used to work for a law firm in the city, retired three months ago and has come along with me on a Mobile Library delivery to see if it might be her kettle of fish. Perhaps it’s her legal training that has enabled her to grasp in three months what it took me three full years to appreciate: Parkinson’s Law (no relation) applies just as much outside the workplace as it did within. My tasks have expanded to fill the time available and, as I head towards my fourth September free from full time teaching, I am no closer to having written my novel, tidied my loft or become self-sufficent in food. Apart from marrows, that is. I am very self sufficient in marrows, should you need a couple.
I am sore afraid that what I really need the discipline of someone else setting my agenda. Take this whole blogging business, for example. When Sunday meant a race to produce a rain-forest’s worth of plans, I still found the time to blog every week for years. Witty, literate blogs they were, full of pithy wisdom and eternal truths about the human condition. If I say so myself.
But now I have the whole day at my disposal, yet it’s nearly lunchtime and I still don’t have a subject for my ramblings. I’ve read quite a funny article about Parkinson’s Law in an edition of The Economist from November 1955; I’ve read the Secret Teacher column in the Guardian and been grateful; I’ve watched some butterflies on the verbena. None of these activities have contributed to the sum of human happiness and I’m no closer to crafting a blog. Though the butterflies are pretty. See:
Still, it’s the last week of August which always will be time for good resolutions. I no longer need to cover exercise books or rule margins or produce interactive, inspirational displays. But I am resolved, with the help of my new diary system, to keep on top of these blogs, producing little nuggets worth the reading. Starting next week. Promise.
In the meantime, an update on my last blog, which was so long ago I’ve already forgiven you for forgetting it. I mentioned the packet of mixed annual seeds, and how one of the Small Annuals seemed to have ambitions beyond its pay grade? No? We’ll just wait here, practising our tables while you have a butcher’s.
I’ll show you how it looks now but this is at your own risk, you must understand. The management will not be responsible for any encounters with marauding giants.
All from one small seed! Will this madness never end?
Have a good week and if you are a teacher, I feel your pain.