Monday July 24, 2006
I’m a creature in need of habit, always seeking to create and follow a set of routines as a framework for my days, no matter what circumstances dominate my life. Even now, when I’m obliged to do things I don’t much enjoy, and prevented from doing the things I truly love, I seem to have established a pattern which brings something of order out of self-inflicted chaos.
Each morning I judge the most important thing I have to do is to get myself over to the house. The drive is a joy, passing along the coast road, winding along the foothills of the Quantocks, sometimes through deeply green tunnels, sometimes skirting open fields and looking down to the sea. Just now, I set the beauty of the scenery aside and relish, on both legs of the journey, half an hour of blessed air-conditioned coolness. I like that even though the fuel gauge drops so much faster than normal.
On the way to the house I call in at Sainsbury’s. That’s the low spot for me, particularly at present when it’s searingly hot and uncomfortable in the car park. It’s clearly a major convenience, having a large, well-stocked supermarket no more than three or four minutes drive from the house but, for the moment, I don’t enjoy going there.
Once inside, the windows opened and the coffee brewed, my first task is to set up my impromptu office in the outer hall, by the phone jack, and get my Internetery done, turning the computer on and forgetting all about house moving. It ain’t the most comfortable place to work so I don’t get much more than half an hour a day but it’s a darn good part of the routine.
When it’s not so beastly hot the next task is to fill my bucket with clean water and set to the job of cleaning walls and stripping ghastly paper borders ready for painting. This is an activity I simply can’t do in the heat so my bucket is sitting in the top floor bathroom, and my step ladder, sponge, floor protector and stripping knife wait silent in a three-quarter finished room, hoping for cooler times.
For now, I give in meekly, recognising my physical limitations, close the house, and head back to the caravan.
Back to the caravan
My wall cleaning stint would normally displace my afternoon siesta, shifting it along two or three hours. Just now, once I’ve had my lunch, cuddled Dolly, and caught up on the gossip with Graham, I shut down for a good snooze, letting the hottest part of the day slide past me without undue pain.
When I wake, and as the world cools down, I see Graham off for his late stint and settle into my evening, alternating between work at the computer, watching TV or listening to music on the radio, my book close to hand. I take my dinner late and generally drop off on the sofa once more until Graham comes home in the small hours.
Working in the caravan
And so, not too long afterwards, to bed. Routine is good. Gets you through the day, it does.