Saturday, 12 November 2016

useful tasks

It rained all day.  It was forecast to rain, and I'd made plans accordingly.  A stately progress through Colchester to do various errands and bits of shopping, followed by cleaning.  I grudge spending good gardening time indoors cleaning the house, so wet days are when I catch up, unless we've got people coming round and I am obliged to sacrifice myself.

A recent survey on the amount of housework people do and attempt to quantify its financial value has been doing the rounds in the papers recently.  I was surprised that it didn't include shopping, not fun shopping like mooching round a book shop if you like books, or a shoe shop if trying on shoes is your thing, but domestic duty shopping.  It takes ages.  I went into Halfords to buy a pair of new windscreen wiper blades since the rubber strip on the passenger side wiper of my car has started flapping about, and to the animal feed supplier to buy grain for the hens, and to the new Aldi to see what it was like, and to Tesco to buy the things that Aldi didn't stock, or at least I couldn't find them (turnips, Worcester sauce, suet, free range chicken, dried pulses of any description).  And I went to the bank, and to WH Smith to buy a 2017 diary, and visited The Range to get more pots for freezing soup and some adhesive labels for the pots (WH Smith didn't have any the right size).

In passing I tried on and bought a pair of boots that I have been eyeing up on the Schuh website. Rather frustratingly, they were advertising reductions on virtually every kind of boot they sold except for the ones that I wanted.  I could have waited to see if mine went on sale too, but my nerve cracked.  They are black and modelled on biker boots (though with much thinner leather than I imagine real protective motorbike boots have) and I have wanted a pair for about two years. Another survey declared that women over 53 should no longer wear jeans, though why any woman of any age should take any notice of the views of a bunch of random strangers, or perhaps self-selected ones who chose to complete the survey, beats me.  If they don't approve of jeans they probably don't approve of biker boots either.  Woman over 53, get thyself to Hotter.  I am sure that Jenny Eclair wears biker boots, or if she doesn't it is because she doesn't like them, not because she feels they are not age appropriate.

Of all these things only the boots could count as a personal indulgence and not a domestic chore, and the round trip took nearly four hours.  I am sure that buying turnips and poultry feed should count as housework.  When I got home the kittens were going stir crazy because they had been kept inside all morning by the rain, and Mr Cool was attempting to climb the ethnic rug that hangs on the hall wall to hide the dodgy plasterwork.

In the afternoon I cleaned the downstairs cloakroom and the ensuite bathroom.  The trim has come unstuck from the edge of the bath, and I cannot get it to snap back on again.  Housework shades into DIY.  And I fired off the latest salvo in an attempt to organise some of my old City colleagues to get together for lunch.  I have a theory that the time taken to organise a group of people to do anything increases exponentially with the number of people.  In this case the number is four, but one of them is away from the 10th December until the 20th, and I won't have any through trains between Christmas and the New Year, so we're already looking at January.

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