Friday, 25 March 2011


Alan has a great little time management model which categorises activity into four types: there’s (1) important-urgent (your hair’s on fire!) (2) important-non urgent (tell me you love me) (3) unimportant-urgent (wipe the cabbage off your cheek before you go out) and (4) unimportant-non urgent (playing golf). We set about categorising our daily chores thus to better prioritise our respective workloads, but when it became apparent that 99% of my activity is unimportant-non-urgent, I decided the model was stupid, though Alan kindly agreed that if you leave unimportant-non-urgent for long enough, it becomes important-urgent; if it’s never quite time to try that recipe for peanut cookies, I may become depressed with the meaningless of life and kill myself!!

Given Alan’s testy temper of late, methinks there is too much important-urgent in his day – what with holding down the Big Job (‘I’m doing two peoples’ jobs!’) and then home to ‘Daddy where have you been? The rubbish internet’s not working again – I need it for my homework now’ (and face-book). So he has to call the amusingly titled ‘help’ line at the call centre in India, staring angrily at his new SUPER hob which he bought to speed up the internet, but which has actually killed it. I did suggest we’d be better off without the SUPER hob but I got ‘I AM NOT GIVING UP I AM GOING TO MAKE IT WORK’ (red-faced). When I said he seemed stressed and maybe he should put a little unimportant-non-urgent into the mix, for instance by picking up a few puppy plops of an evening, I just got a look which said important-urgent = me, puppy plops = you.

As he’s in the grip of important-urgent matters at all times, muggins here, as well as doing all the usual unimportant-non-urgent jobs (toothbrushing enforcement, cleaning and tidying, general moaning and yelling) has been assigned furniture construction. Previously Alan had been happy to spend a day constructing a Murmb or a Duk, smiling at TalkCrap behind closed doors, hammer in a limp hand, until I gave him a shove to get working again. But now poor old Daddy needs to relax ‘a bit’ at the weekend by playing golf then dozing in front of the football. All day.

So this week I constructed an Ikea chest of drawers and an acoustic drum kit all by my little self, including getting the packages up to the top-most bedroom; Alfie had squealed on Daddy, who’d said ‘Mummy might not be able to do it properly’ so I was damned if I was asking for help – I’d do it myself or my name was not Bob the Builder.

The flat-pack Ikea box, eight inches thick, the size of a door and the weight of a car, would only shift up the stairs if I slid it, but could I get a grip on the sod? No, so I sat on the stair below and pushed up with my back, and then with my head by lying face down on the stairs. My head was moving but the flat pack was not, which started alarm bells ringing. Finally I gave in to common sense, and took the pieces out of the box and up the four flights one by boring one, hearing my Dad’s voice in my head ‘Less haste, more speed’ Ner ner ner ner. Next was the bass drum box which was the shape of a washing machine. I couldn’t get my arms around it for love nor money so it was another sliding job. Disaster struck at the penultimate stair corner which needed an up and over, but luckily Alfie was off sick-ish, to offer encouragement and someone to fall over, and he really would have helped if he didn’t have to suck his thumb and hold his comfort blanket. There was effing and blinding, but eventually drawers and drum kit were constructed, properly.

Alan came home, ‘Come and look!’ we shouted down the stairs. But he was firing off e-mails. ‘Sorry, this is really important – and urgent – I’ll look later.’ He’d had time to pour a glass of wine though...

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