Monday, February 02, 2009

Things I should be doing

There's a pile of cards sitting on the edge of my desk. Condolences and commiserations from friends and family. We split them up, the four of us, and I got most of the carriage driving and horsey fraternity, since I knew them best. I'm meant to be writing thankyou letters to each and every one of them, but six months down the line I've still not summoned up the courage.

I fitted the bath months ago, tiled the bathroom floor and walls, but there's still the extractor fan to be fitted over the shower, still the airing cupboard to be framed and shelved. Still the window to be stripped down and repainted, the door and skirting boards the same. And that's only one room. We've not even started on the kitchen or living room beyond making them usable. The hall and landing are still a horrid salmon pink colour even though it's a year since we bought the place. One spare room is pretty much finished, if you don't count painting the ceiling and putting down carpet - but we've only managed to get that done because we've got guests coming in a few weeks.

I've a year's worth of comics piled up on the shelves behind me. Some of them I've read, most of them not. I need to get them sorted and catalogued, not because I'm anally retentive that way,* but because I'm missing several key issues. I keep mentioning this to Mike whenever he calls me to go through the next month's order, and he keeps asking me to tell him which ones I'm missing. But I haven't yet got around to sorting it all out, so I don't know.

The Book of Souls should be well on its way to completion by now. It's months since I had all the feedback I needed, and since I accepted that I was going to have to rewrite the thing from scratch, but today I am at page fourteen, which is quite pathetic really. In two hours of staring at the screen I've managed to write about five hundred words. Not good.

Hanging over everything is the question of what is going to happen to my parents' farm. I've said all along that I would like to take it over, and my brothers and sister are keen for me to do so. Nothing is ever so simple though. It's worth considerably more than my quarter share of the estate, so I have to make a decision whether to sell some of it to make up the difference, or persuade one or more of my siblings to go into partnership. I need to think about what to do with this house, here in Wales, at a time when selling is not really an option at all. I need to get the place finished to what normal people would consider a habitable standard. I need to worry about whether the Horse Doctor really means it when she says she's happy to move back to Scotland, and also whether she can find as good a job back home as she has here. I need to phone my elder brother, but I forgot earlier and it's too late now.

I've never been all that good at multi-tasking. Those clever souls who can hold down a day job and write bestsellers amaze me. I don't know where they get the energy. I think, with hindsight, trying to do both those things and rebuild a ruin of a house might have been a tad ambitious. All the other stuff on top just makes my head spin.

There's so many things I should be doing, I just don't know which one to do first.

*although to be honest, I am



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