I have been meaning to write this for ages and am reminded of it a few times a day when I do the washing up. Because I find it amazing that inanimate objects can appear to have a mind of their own; cups that you place firmly on the shelf somehow manage to launch themselves into the air and have the knack of avoiding your grasping fingers trying to catch them; keys that you always place on the shelf by the front door somehow contrive to wriggle off and hide themselves in a coat pocket; your mobile phone, as well as turning itself on to silent so that you miss calls, has a habit of hiding itself (along with your spectacles) in the most absurd of places. Now, you may argue that in fact some, or indeed all, of these movements by inanimate objects are somehow my own responsibility – or that I may have somehow encouraged them in their errant behaviour. There is no excuse however for the recalcitrant teaspoon.
I do a lot washing up, both at home and in the Café. And there is a certain satisfaction in finishing, reaching for the tea-towel, wiping up and putting away. But how come, almost every time, despite a thorough search, when you tip away the bowl and as the dirty water swirls on its spiral journey to the plughole – there, yes there it is, the recalcitrant, the disobedient teaspoon, which has been lurking beneath the suds, cleverly avoiding your hand as it searches for it, knowing it must be there somewhere, but resisting contact – until it appears smiling back at you in the sink.
And, so it is with life. We all make lists, some on lavender scented notepaper (for all you older readers) and like me, some in your head. And you tick them off as the day wends on, (some may of course be relegated to tomorrow’s list – and some will remain on the back burner until they fade from the list completely) – but there is a certain satisfaction in having ticked them all off. And then just as you sit down to watch telly, tea in hand, you realise that the recalcitrant teaspoon of life has struck again, – and you have forgotten something, usually very obvious too. There it is, smiling away like a Cheshire cat in your brain – the ever-present recalcitrant teaspoon of life.