thief of time

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Fun and Games

Some time ago, we ordered a three-seater lounge. It arrived today, just as I was returning from work, and it was truly large. I didn’t like the looks of things as I pulled up behind the truck. For some reason I had the mental picture of the fellow who starts building a boat in his garage and then finds he can’t get it out the door.

The two deliverymen weren’t terribly impressed as they tried to manoeuvre it through the front door and it wouldn’t go at all. In fact they made a rather belittling remark about not having thought about the size when we ordered.

I actually had thought about the size, but more about the thought that it might be too big for our lounge room, not that a piece of furniture wouldn’t go through what I assume is a standard, average-size Australian doorway. Being a supportive wife, I’m afraid I did mention “I told you” to my husband once or twice.

The deliverymen then suggested that my husband take off the front door, but that they couldn’t wait while he did so, as they were only paid to drop the lounge off.

I then began to picture having to kick our daughter out of home and telling her she’d have to rent a place with a very large set of French doors and take the lounge with her. Of course she wouldn’t have much else by way of furniture, other than her TV, stereo and brand new lounge, but what else does a teenager need when she first sets out on her own. I come from a long line of Scots and the thoughts of wasting a beautiful new lounge were extremely galling. My daughter comes from an even longer line of Scots—being one generation further along, so I was sure I could persuade her to come to the aid of non-wastage.

Then, as the deliverymen made their scornful way off down the driveway, I decided they’d been wrong about one thing, unless I was sorely mistaken. One of them had mentioned that it was all in one piece, and unless things had changed since we’d ordered it, all the back cushions should have been removable, as they were in the shop. Ripping a hole in the plastic covering the lounge proved they were wrong and we proceeded to strip every bit off the lounge that we possibly could.

Then my husband and son spent the next little while exercising their ingenuity and impressing their admiring audience with their strength and manual dexterity by getting the still impressively-sized lounge through the de-doored entrance. Just as much fun was to be had in getting it through the living room door immediately after that.

The room had gone through considerable shifting to prepare for the lounge’s arrival and went through considerably more as we worked on the best arrangement of items of furniture to optimise the use of the space. My husband made frequent cutting remarks about having too much in the room, ie, too many books. I don’t think that having three bookcases is all that much, but having the fourth one that contains all his records is perhaps carrying things just a bit too far and I can see that we might be further ahead to get rid of all that outmoded technology.

It’s nice to collapse in a heap now and realise that we won’t be moving that couch again unless it’s to the other side of the room. There it is and there it will stay. It will have to go with the house, as my husband certainly won’t be up to the manoeuvres in another few years’ time. In fact, judging from the loud rumbling noise coming from him at the moment, he may not have been up to it today, poor thing.






Thursday, October 14, 2004

Resumes, or Who in the World is That?

I recently had occasion to dig out a couple of old resumes, dust them off and combine and update them to use for a job application.

I looked at them as I revised and nodded, remembering as though it were for another person—someone I knew long ago and had known quite well, but had rather fallen out of touch with. I was quite surprised at the number of things this person was involved with at one time and I wondered how she ever had the time to get so caught up in so many different directions.

Then I came to the application proper, with criteria to fullfil--“what you bring to the position”, “what attracts you to this position”, “what skills do you possess”, “proficiencies in this”, “abilities in that”, etc., etc., etc.

After typing furiously for quite some time and going to bed exhausted, I got up the next day and read what I put down in the fever of creation and I wondered who on earth this faker was. They’re obviously someone of extremely dubious character and must be grossly exaggerating everything they’ve written down.

I don’t think I’d give them a look in.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Stretching

I’m back to normal at work this week, after two weeks of filling in at the office and it sure feels good.

The first week and a half I spent in a mild panic, feeling like I was treading water all the time. This only becomes significant when I tell you that I actually don’t know how to swim.

I thought that I would go into work and know what I was going to do on the day, but it certainly didn’t happen like that. All it took were a few minor disasters and customer problems to deal with and everything got put on hold. It’s sort of like the Yes Minister episode where the hospital worked much better not having to deal with patients.

The last few days of my time in the office, things quieted down and I was actually able to catch up on the things I had planned to do, so that I didn’t leave a massive out-of-control pile of “to-dos” for the person I was filling in for—at least I don’t think I did. She may have another opinion entirely.

An experience like that certainly makes you appreciate more what the other half has to do. I knew the staff at the office didn’t have an easy job of it, but I hadn’t realised how tedious dealing with some of the petty little details could be.

It’s probably a dangerous job for me, as I arrived for work early, left late and often carried on through lunch unless dragged away. I tend to get a bit obsessive compulsive sometimes, though I suppose that would wear off a bit once I was sure of what in the world I was doing.

Never mind, back to the field and freedom and no more staring for hours at the computer screen (except for pleasure, of course).

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Doing the Wash

It rained this week for the first time in awhile and it wasn’t the half-hearted attempt it’s been recently either. I don’t imagine it’s made all that much difference to the dam levels, but it sure felt wonderful to see there still was rain about.

It must be the mark of a thoroughly domesticated woman, though, that the first thing I could think of this morning wasn’t that it was glorious weather and I should get out in the fresh air and sunshine. The first thing that popped into my head was the thought that it looked like being a fine drying day.

Yuck. How boring. And yet, how typical.

The first time it becomes a priority is probably when the children are babies and it’s a matter of near desperation when it looks like the sun isn’t going to shine long enough to get caught up on the nappies. After that, a habit is probably so established that becomes very hard to break.

I’ve almost bought a clothes dryer a few times in my married life. I’m certainly not against them. It’s just that when I’m at the end of my tether and about to go out and get one, the never ending rain stops and we’re back to all the fresh air and sunshine that Oz is justly famous for.

I guess I’ll just continue to tie myself into the giant cycle of Nature and stick to my Hills hoist for the time being, until I get too decrepit to put things up on the line.

The Hills Hoist! Now there’s a marvel of technology and one I won’t give up easily, even though my husband dropped a tree branch on ours and it’s now slightly tilted at a jaunty angle. It might not be the most beautiful thing to have in a backyard, but it’s certainly the most useful and as long as we’re careful with falling branches, it may well outlast us.