Tuesday 27th November
As usual I am writing this one day ahead – Monday morning to be precise – and after a busy weekend I think I am actually going to work for a rest. Three years ago I went down to four days a week, thinking that with a spare day at my disposal I would easily be able to get some writing done. And some Fridays I do manage a couple of hours. The trouble is that as a lot of my job is responding to internet queries and the rest of the world works on Friday I find I am replying as if I too were at work. There always seems some stuff left over that I couldn’t quite get done Monday to Thursday too, so most Friday mornings are spent mopping up work related stuff.
This weekend I went to Walton on Thursday evening but returned to London on Friday evening, where I wrapped a few presents I had already bought. Saturday and Sunday were spent painting the last two bedrooms in the London house. It isn’t the painting itself that exhausts one but the preparation; the clearing of the room, the taking down of the blinds, the filling holes and cracks before one can even get the paint out. Ceilings I particularly hate; on a ladder and looking up I always get disoriented and cannot remember which bit I have just painted and have to have one finger constantly touching the ceiling as a guide for my painting hand to work up to. Emulsioning the walls I quite like, but the constant moving the ladder and the groundsheet and painting carefully around skirting boards and plugs and light switches is tedious to say the least. And apart from doors the final Satinwood gloss is time-consuming but quite easy.
Then we have the moving back of the furniture and possessions and finally about six each day it is done, and so am I. A room I could knock off before lunch twenty years ago now takes me all day and I am quite exhausted at the end of it. So today I am going to work for a rest; no more ladders to move, no more dragging furniture about, no more re-hanging mirrors, no more bending down for the paint tin. Mind you I will probably moan about work before the week is out.