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April 22, 2015

There is a bunch of flowers on my desk that is slowly dying. The flowers have been there for four weeks now, given to me as a leaving present when I quit my job to go freelance as a writer, and the slowly decomposing petals and leaves metaphorically represent my dreams of being financially solvent ever again. But I really cannot be arsed to throw them out.

Every time I visit the bathroom I stare aimlessly at a growing collection of toilet roll tubes on the floor. There are seven now I think, of various sizes and shapes. They are taking up a considerable amount of floor space in my bathroom, but I really cannot be fagged to scoop them up and deposit them in a bin.

There are lots of other things I am finding myself weirdly reluctant to do. Like admitting I can’t bake. I’ll spend an entire morning painstakingly burning three dozen meringues because my oven just doesn’t have a ‘low’ setting, experimenting with leaving the door half open, and adding extra trays to block the heat, in the hope of making something that isn’t so carcinogenic it’ll lower my life expectancy by several years. But I won’t cheerfully toss the lot in the bin, stick two fingers up at Mary Berry and go and buy a Sainsbury’s pavlova. I’ll forget the whole episode, and then waste another two boxes of eggs a weekend later in an attempt at macaroons.

In the meantime I’ll accumulate a ridiculous amount of Active Kids vouchers (I don’t have kids, and highly doubt they’d be very active if I did) that I’ll never redeem, and box up leftover lasagne and spag bol into tiny tupperware boxes in the fridge, only to throw them out three weeks later when no one’s eaten them and they’re threatening to spontaneously combust. And I’ll click ‘not now’, for the 36th time, when my computer warns me it urgently requires an update or I’ll lose all my work and friends.

So what sits behind my reluctance to do these things? Clearly, the flowers represent a connection to safe, secure income – a time when I didn’t wake up each morning and wonder just what insane part of me ever thought it would be a great idea to attempt to make a living out of blogging – and thus I am scared to throw them away, and be left, flowerless and powerless and staring at a P45, with barely an intelligible or creative thought to put to paper. Plus, I know the water in the vase will really stink.

But the loo rolls? I don’t have an attachment to toilet rolls. Not since I was seven and made a colourful desk organiser at school, with a special little pot for my pencil sharpener and an extra tall tube (from a kitchen roll, and designed to store spaghetti – I had only a hazy idea of what should be organised on a desk, and to be honest, there are times that I’ve wished my writing environment housed some easily accessible carbohydrates) have I had quite such a collection of bog roll inner tubes.

The meringue thing is clearly just stubbornness. That oven was expensive, and I refuse to believe that just because we had to convert it to Calor gas in order for it to run on the boat, it now cannot cook at less than 300 degrees. It just needs fiddling with.

Maybe it’s just apathy. Why do today what can comfortably be put off till tomorrow, and there are quite clearly so many other things to do – like play Words with Friends and watch entire series of The Big Bang Theory, back to back, and claiming it’s educational cos there will come a day when I really need to know about string theory.

But I’d be interested to know if it’s just me. Do other normal-in-every-other-respect people hoard loo rolls because there is a distance of some fifteen feet between the bathroom and the nearest bin? Have stinking foliage blocking the sunlight from their desk? Refuse to accept Paul Hollywood will never wink aggressively and say ‘Good work Davies’ as he tucks into a perfectly risen, char-free meringue? Please let me know. In the meantime I’ll go and water that plant that seems to somehow survive despite my almost pathological refusal to give it any attention, and download an update for Words with Friends. Don’t want that giving up on me.

From → Blog

  1. Bryony permalink

    To those of us who have spent some 10 years at home, wiping snotty noses and making the next generation of desk tidies along with plenty of pasta based artworks with your niblings (once removed… I think), the situation you describe is alarmingly familiar. I believe it is brought about by the feeling that there is something more important to be done before the tidying up. The answer then is to complete the other task or at least determine what the other task is so you can decide if it is indeed more important. In a shocking and unfortunate coincidence it is most likely something else that you’re putting off doing. The baking is a ploy you’ve subconciously employed to throw yourself off the scent. If it helps, pies work out ok in hot ovens and meringues can be made in a microwave. X

  2. Rachel permalink

    OK, so now I feel really guilty about making a lemon meringue pie the weekend after you visited!

  3. stephanie permalink

    …….soon to appear “the list”…a must for every organised stay at home lady. One writes it every morning without fail , the plan to cross off every completed job, in time you will learn the art of fabrication! the list remains the same , little jobs done are added daily and crossed off after completion…the list grows, many crossings off , looks good ! only you truly know which “job” you added ,already done and triumphantly crossed off immediately…..such is life! for the oh so busy, stay at home self employed lady…..good working 🙂 xxx

  4. Elisabeth Thompson permalink

    I’m definitely there with you and the umpteen loo roll tubes, decomposing flowers and culinary tamperings.

    Loo rolls pile up because there are four other sentient beings (using the term loosely, regarding me) in the house, None of whom dispose of them so why should I? Not that I’m childish. At all.

    Rotting flowers in their vase are due to my (stubborn, moi?) refusal to comply with my visiting mother’s ‘Ooh I look after mine. I change the water Every Day.’ when she spots them. Every. Flipping. Time. I just hide them now.

    After years of cossetting various ovens to do their best I know they’re fickle. If I can’t get a cake right the first time I don’t bother again. So I admire your tenacity.
    😊 x

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