I’m so tired I feel silly.
It’s not just that I’m working 18 hour days, though I am. I have fired, emptied and grit scrubbed solidly for the last four days without stopping except to snack on the hoof and fall into bed. I can cope with that. I’ve grit scrubbed all the fingernails off my left hand, which was holding the tiny things underwater and my hands are now permanently wrinkly and very clean.
The thing that really annoys me is the way people pounce on me the moment I go: right! Miniatura! As the words left my lips the phone began ringing, every call either a certified idiot or a double glazing salesman or both. Why do cold callers enquire so solicitously after your health? It’s not as if they cared; it’s the health of your bank account they’re interested in.
‘Is that Mrs Laverick? How are you Mrs Laverick’
‘Are you Mrs Laverick? But how are you Mrs Laverick?’
‘Very busy. What do you want?’
‘I wonder if I could take a moment of your time.’
‘I haven’t got a moment to give you.’
‘Aha haha Mrs Laverick, very funny.’
‘No really, I’m in a rush.’
‘Rushing to the shops, are you, Mrs Laverick? I wonder if you’re shopping for windows at all Mrs Laverick because I have you on my list…’
‘I’m going to hang up.’
(Rapidly) ‘as a person who is going to be very interested in our new all revolving easy clean total access put-in-in-a-day high quality sunlight stabilised available in three choices of style and your choice, yes your choice of high grade stabilised yes stabilised UPVC casements, tilt and turn, and even patio, yes patio Mrs Laverick hello are you still there?’
‘No’ (Putting phone down)
These are only the edited highlights. Yesterday it was three in the one day plus a very dodgy one purporting to be from the bank which necessitated an hour phoning my branch to check it out and associated palaver. It’s been like that ever since I got started. How do they do it? How do they know to start then, all at once?
The other half has a similar problem with traffic coming down the hill past our house. This is of random happenstance until he gets in the car to pull out of the drive when LO! from afar strings of pedal driven jalopies will crawl past nose to rusting bumper in either direction or a two-chassis hinged pantechnicon will get stuck on the traffic roundabout a hundred yards to the left and everything will tail back for hours. How do they co-ordinate their efforts so successfully? Is there a ‘Let’s annoy the Lavericks’ focus group, all interlinked by walkie talkies supervised by someone in a nearby house that I omitted once to say good day to when putting out the dustbin? Or something?
The thing about people stealing your time is that it’s not just theft of random half hours. At present it’s occurring every time I promise myself a break. ‘I’ll just grit scrub these three and then have a cup of tea’ I think and as I dry my hands the phone will go. Or, ‘I’ll just place this loaded shelf in the kiln and then I’ll get the washing off the line,’ and then some fool comes to the door with assorted parcels for the neighbourhood and a million stupid advertising flyers.
I know you’re probably thinking that it’s busy all the time really and I only notice when I’m in a rush but it really is not so. There have been days, loooong days, where so much nothing has occurred at once, there’s been time to worry about whether the clock was tocking when it should have been ticking.
Do you remember in your childhood the long summer days when you could stare at ground level at the grass? Can you recall how long it took to trail the length of a dusty lane? Can you bring to mind the way in which an entire afternoon could be passed mainly focussed on the consumption of a bag of sweets?
At least it solves that age old question; when do we grow up? Is it when you reach 18? Is it at 21? When you get married? When you sign the mortgage papers? Get a job? Produce a child?
No, in fact you are irrevocably grown up when you get your first cold call from a double glazing salesman. It acknowledges that you are a mature person with time and resources worth purloining, too busy to maintain your elderly rotting windows, old enough to appreciate the joys of plastic and sufficiently trusted by a bank to have plastic to pay for it with. Look in the mirror and regard not your sparse hair, luxuriant grey whiskers and sepia dentition but see someone old enough to have double glazing sold to them. Repeatedly. How old does that make you feel?
And tired. I feel old and tired.
JaneLaverick.com – in need of an early night.