Nothing’s gonna distract me now   Leave a comment

Apart from vanilla-paste filled wafer tubes. Mmm.

I was tired on Wednesday morning, but despite that finally got the productive day I needed. And it really was very productive (and also quite long, as things had started to pile up a bit).

The only two minor intrusions were Dad coming over to do some stuff to the house for a few hours. I really don’t like unannounced visitors – by which I mean anyone who’s not agreed the time of their arrival several days in advance – even when they’re here to do things for my benefit. It makes me uncomfortable knowing that people might turn up without adequate warning, and it makes me uncomfortable having people in my house when I’m trying to do things. But it wasn’t a major distraction, even with the dust.
I also don’t like people doing things for me; I’d much rather do them for myself. Not least because I don’t trust anybody else to get things right, but also the sense of obligation it causes is unpleasant. Unfortunately, helping Dad is almost impossible because he’s utterly inscrutable. There’s no way of knowing when he’ll arrive, what he’s going to be doing, why anything’s being done, or how. He never tells you or explains anything, just does it (and grumbles about having to), so you never learn how to do it for yourself. I’m not totally useless (I can follow instructions in Haynes manuals, fit a toilet flush mechanism, and so on), but I don’t know the first thing about decorating or rennovation*, and I *do* know, having learned from the previous owners’ mistakes, that it’s incredibly easy to make a spectacular pig’s ear of it. So, unless I’m told what I should be doing, where, and how, I leave it alone to avoid mucking it up. I don’t understand what’s going on so can’t direct myself.
A side-effect being that, because Dad demands precision rarely attained by even the most fastidious molecular engineer, everything progresses. So. Very. Very. Slowly. Indeed.

A while ago I bought the Reader’s Digest DIY Manual, in an effort to learn some of this stuff. It’s a depressing read, informing you of all the tools you don’t have or know how to use, all the skills you’ve never practiced. Really it taught me that if I’d wanted to do any of it, I should have started about ten or fifteen years ago. Then, if I’d kept at it, I’d probably about have the hang of it by now.

It’s not like computing. All that requires is that you press the button with the letter you want on it. It’s all labelled, and if you get the wrong one you press backspace or undo. Anyone can do it. You can’t muck it up, causing yourself to irrevocably waste time, materials, money and effort. Unlike so many other things, you don’t have a decade or more of practicing to go from “inept” to the dizzying heights of “half-arsed”. Once you understand something, you can do it. No tedious meatspace dexterity requirements in the way.

The other inconvenience was a spot of extraordinary stupidity on my part. Not only did I try to get to the ‘phone when it was ringing, but when I missed it I called Mum back. What on earth did I do that for? Still, after some uninterested “mmm”s and silences she got the hint that, like I said, I was busy, so only seventeen minutes wasted. (Why do I answer telephones? I know it won’t be important; they’re calling *me*).

But regardless of all that, and necessarily missing going to the gym yesterday, and thanks to a lot of coffee and music to distract me from the rest of reality, and probably a day’s worth of calories in junk, work got done! Hurrah! And submitted and now I’m even caught up on this. Thank goodness.

* Unless the first thing is “Don’t”. I’ve learned that one.

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