Friday, 15 April 2016

best laid plans

It was raining this morning when I got up, not hard.  The forecast for Friday had been rainy for a couple of days, and I'd planned accordingly.  I was going to make ice cream and spend a pleasant couple of hours pottering around the kitchen.  I'd even remembered to buy full fat milk and whipping cream on my way back from the station yesterday.

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry, and my plans are not always the best laid.  When I worked in an office and was subjected to those psychological tests (I believe now academically discredited) that City employers loved in the 1990s, I always came up as relatively weak on what was called in the jargon of the day the Completer-Finisher dimension.  Dotting the i-s and crossing the t-s.  The tests may have been intellectually flawed, but the results were remarkably consistent across time, and as somebody who has in the past been to buy curtains without measuring the window first, I didn't quibble.

The first seeds of the ice cream plan going awry were planted on Wednesday, when I got back from my lecture and lunch to discover a parcel company card for a missed delivery jammed in the letterbox.  The automatic option of attempting redelivery the following day wasn't going to work, because I was going to London and the Systems Administrator was in Cheltenham.  I didn't know what was in the parcel, and assumed it was something to do with the SA, but it seemed graceful to deal with it, so I called the number on the card, followed the instructions given by the automated voice, and opted for delivery on Friday.  When the SA was due back at lunchtime, while I would be at home in the morning because I would be making Dulce de leche ice cream.

Except that when I looked in the larder we had no condensed milk.  I'd been convinced that we had, for no good reason given that I hadn't checked, but no.  Evaporated milk, tinned rice pudding, tinned cherries, butter beans, rather a lot of chick peas (I had better make something healthy to eat) but no condensed milk.  And I could not go and buy any until the SA got back because of the parcel.  I thought maybe I could make chocolate ice cream instead but we had no chocolate.  I didn't really fancy plain vanilla, and I needed a recipe that would use the cream.

The rain had stopped by eleven.  I went outside and looked at the sky, which didn't look too ominous.  I thought that if it was not raining and I didn't have the right ingredients for ice cream then I might as well do some weeding while waiting for the parcel, changed into my gardening clothes, and settled down to winkle grass out of the iris in the turning circle.  It began to rain again, lightly and then not so lightly, until I had to admit it was not going to stop and that I was getting wet.

The SA got home just before lunchtime, as expected, and after lunch I went to buy condensed milk, and another roll of wrapping paper because I had somehow lost the one I bought yesterday, and the part of the present which I had forgotten to buy at all even though it was on my shopping list.  By the time I got back half the afternoon seemed to have gone, and all of the morning, and I hadn't really done anything except go round in small circles.  Weak Completer Finisher indeed.  At least the parcel turned up.

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