I have a cunning planner

You’re meant to plan your life, these days.  I know this because there was this inspirational couple (who were very inspiring because they’d lost weight and she’d had her teeth fixed, so they started lecturing, as you do) who issued a list of ten ways to get stuff under control.  You are what you eat was one, which might explain my dodgy knee, and Plan Your Life was another.

So I bought a planner.

These are big business at present and I saw the one I bought on The Craft Store channel, which used to be Hochanda.  Our Leonie was waxing lyrical about it and showed us the planners of other presenters and told me I needed this in my life, so I bought one.  (I am an advertiser’s dream, I really am.)

I was too old to do the Filofax thing.  These, as I understand them, were a huge diary with bits falling off that you carried around in your handbag.  Then, said Leonie, you got a smart phone and all the stuff went on that.  I may be puzzled because these are two vital steps for the Modern Woman that I completely missed out on.  The entire planet is connected by mobile phone, except me and a couple of old men deep in the Amazon rainforest and a logging family in Alaska, who can’t get a signal.

Why do you need to be connected to everyone else all the time?  Why is it that the OH gets upset when TV channels disappear?  He watches the same 1980s legal dramas continuously anyway.  I can join in with the dialogue as I pass through the lounge without even looking at the screen.

Planning your TV viewing is pointless, which coincidentally is the name of a TV quiz show, and a description.  No one would ever need to write that down in a planner. it’s just the thing that is on when you’re waiting for the news.  I am willing to bet substantial amounts (6d.) that round the world the thing that is on before the news on TV is some bit of vacuous filler. Nobody ever deliberately watched the programme before the news.  Back in the day when the S&H was a child and considerably more effort was put into the content of television, there were some very entertaining programmes for children on before the news, Dangermouse, the Magic Roundabout and Blue Peter spring unbidden to mind.  Parents and children watched them together before it was realised that television was an unpaid babysitter and there were a million channels and nothing to watch. I am so old I remember the interlude between black and white television shows.  This occurred while they were winding up the cameras again and was a soothing piece of footage of The Potter’s Wheel, a waterfall, a Windmill and assorted country scenes.  Aged three I sat, amazed.  (You have to remember that the only other family entertainment was my mother on the piano, stuck on lesson two, or lighting the fire with rolled up newspaper and a can of paraffin.)

So, whilst I enjoyed the Radio Times, I never used it to plan my viewing, I was never sufficiently senior to make the decisions.  The only TV viewing decision I made was to get up early enough on Saturday morning to watch TISWAS when I was a young teacher and Lenny Henry was thin.

I shall not be using my planner to plan my television viewing therefore.

I am trying to lose weight without dieting but I am an entire lifetime past writing down recipes.  Now, there’s a thing and an entire industry of a thing.  Weight loss recipes, a multi-million pound oxymoron.  Making people who wish to be thinner focus on the food to the extent of buying special ingredients and spend hours in the kitchen doing stuff with them, is just school playground bullying with focus.  Give us your dinner money, or else, and as well, we’ll make you fatter, fat kid.  Focus on the thing you want more of, eg thighs.

Food will not feature in my planner.

I don’t think there’s going to be much writing because the time you spend planning writing in the planner you could have actually been writing, rather than writing about writing.

I am beginning to suspect that planners fall into the category of: those who can do, those who can’t, plan.

House makeover?

Been there done that.  (I still have one pair of curtains to make, which I intend to get on with rather than writing about.)

Gardening.  Well, it’s June,whatever it is should be in the ground now.  I did have a plan for the damp bottom corner of the garden, you know shade loving ,wet loving plants but then the OH went and planted a shed there.  Any day now he is hoping the carpenter will pop round to advise him about getting rid of the water under the floor.  Ideally before he and his heavy machinery fall through the rotting bit.

Clothes planning?  Absolutely not, I am a slave to QVCs clothing department as it is.  I am completely allergic to any shopping for clothing that involves getting changed in a tiny fitting room with strange lightbulbs and peculiar mirrors that light up my varicose veins like Blackpool illuminations.  And as for communal changing rooms, which existed for a while, there is no better time travel to get you back to the worst bit of school sports, which was the pavilion, a brick outbuilding that you could have made ice lollies in during a heatwave just by putting  fluid in a container and lying it on the bench for five minutes.

So I will not be planning my apparel.

Money?  I have discovered that all is well providing you stop spending prior to running out of money.  When I first left home I did keep a financial planner of sorts.  In a book keeping book I wrote down every penny coming in and going out, for and from three of us in a flat.  At the end of term I divvied up the spare and everyone was happy.  After fifty years of that I can now do it in my head.

Not money in the planner.

You see the real problem with a planner, as in life, is that you can only plan what you will do.  There is sadly, absolutely no way of planning for the damn fool stuff that other people do.  You simply cannot.  People going round sneezing on other people in a pandemic cannot be planned for or accounted for. The idiots who had early Covid parties have taken themselves out of the planner and off the planet.

People who leave you vomiting blood after cancer surgery to go and get drunk, how can you plan for that?  People who wish to be politicians because they have a shoulder full of chips, becoming politicians and then acting like politicians and making stupid laws, well, you simply can’t legislate for that.  Somebody rummaging round in your stomach and knotting up your intestines while you are under anaesthetic and unable to tell them to stop, can’t plan for that.

You cannot plan for other people or natural disasters or other people causing disasters.

You cannot, in short, plan for entropy.

The world, indeed, the entire universe, tend towards chaos.  Entropy rules KP?  It’s nuts but there you are.

I have ordered some stickers.

I will stick them in the planner so that I have the illusion of curing entropy.

The planner has a (I think) unique system of removing the punctured pages from solid disks down the side of the book very easily.  So you can stick the stickers on and then rip the pages out with ease and shred them without jamming the shredder on staples.

Now that, I approve of.

If you can plan not to spend three and a half hours of your life unjamming the shredder, that’s three and a half hours you’ve got back, to be writing in a planner, or sticking stickers in it, or, just, you know, living.


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