I don’t know where my hours go. I’m sure I have the full complement, 24 every day, just like everyone else, and yet mine seem to … disappear. To float. To fritter away.
I’m not sure it helps living with such a high achiever as my beloved fella. It’s only just March, and yet he’s nearly written his next book (don’t tell his editors) while copy-editing the one his publishers know about.
One recent Saturday – one of my many days of rest – he prerecorded three radio shows, wrote 1,000 words, sorted a pile of tiresome life admin, watched a movie on telly, and read his book. He’s already read 17 books so far this year, and no, they weren’t all short.
One was 800 pages! He’s also learning Spanish. Me, I spoke to the vet about the dog’s medication. I took the pups for a walk. When he got home, he trotted into the kitchen. Wine! I said. I’m making your dinner, so where’s my wine?
Sorry, he replied, but I’ve been busy. You have one job, I said. Wine! Now! White? he asked. There’s none cold. Well, one just can’t get the staff these days, I ranted. And then I laughed because he thought I was serious, when actually I’m just ashamed, ashamed of the hours that disappear on me, lost to crosswords, WhatsApp, and idunnowhat, while his hours are a running tally of achievements, things to show for his days, months, years on this earth – the same ones that I surely squandered.
I can give you a million excuses – I’m chief cook, I pick up the dog poo, I change the sheets – but none of these account for the lost hours, the lost days. My old mum likes to say “work expands to fill the time available”.
She’s right. She also says “if you want something done, ask a busy person”. Of course, she’s right about that too. Himself has now taken on writing a movie script, and runs a prison book group, and still there’s this boozy floozy at home to keep happy. Yes, I demanded wine from my busy person and, by wrapping a bottle in wet kitchen towel and popping it in the freezer – a nifty trick that works a treat – he provided the necessary chill within 20 minutes.