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I think there comes a point in your life when time off stops being an opportunity to rest and relax, and starts being the time when you frantically rush around trying to get everything done that you don’t have time for when work’s getting in the way. Your return to work will be a blessed relief, like a holiday by comparison.

Monday was my first day off, and so I had to get on with the task I’d set myself: decorate the bedroom. Once that’s done it’ll bring the total number of rooms completed since the house was bought ten months ago to one. Quite a milestone.

(And if that breakneck pace is maintained it’ll only take five years to finish!)

First thing was painting the radiator, expecting dad to turn up to finish the door and doorframe. By the time I’d finished there was no sign of him*, so I had to think of what to do next. All of dad’s kit was set up as he’d left it on Saturday so he could get on when he next turned up. Unfortunately, it was all set up in the room I needed to decorate.

I considered going to the gym and then playing computer games for the rest of the evening. Seemed a pretty good way to spend the day.
Realisation, however, dawned: I had no idea if or when dad was next likely to turn up. Neither the gym nor computer games would get decorating done. Sitting around waiting for other people would definitely waste 1/5th of my holiday, and could waste all of it – and once that’s gone this room won’t be decorated for weeks if we’re lucky and months if we’re accurate. You can’t rely on other people or you’ll never get anything done (corollary: anything requiring two or more people is doomed to failure).

And so the room was cleared and cleaned, the ceiling was painted twice, the skirting-boards were primed and given their first coat of paint. Bed was finally reached at about 4am, but at last it looked like a difference was being made.

* I found out later that my sister’s car had exploded and he was taping the water back into the radiator.


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