I thought I had been doing pretty well, keeping up to date with stuff and things this year. Not only did I buy myself a new diary in timely fashion, which has things written in it. I have also taken to keeping a weekly to do list, which I fill in every Sunday evening with all the excitements of the week ahead. I edit it as the week goes by, and write myself pertinent reminders on it, and so far I have finished every day with all three children exactly where they are supposed to be, and a vague handle on where my husband is.
I considered this to be a triumph until the weekend when it transpired that Andrea had booked three theatre outings which I had absolutely no recollection of at all. It seems that I did know about them once, as Jason had them all in his calendar but I didn’t have them written down. I was very chastened. Particularly when I got home to find I had double booked myself for two of them. One of the things I am already doing is set in stone and therefore no theatre for me. The other thing I have been able to move, although I am missing out on something equally as lovely as a theatre trip. I can blame no-one else for this. It is my own fault.
I hate that.
My diarising sins were compounded by receiving a phone call on Saturday afternoon, whilst standing atop the windy bund, from my hairdresser who said: ‘Now you haven’t forgotten you’re coming in on Monday have you?’ There was a deafening silence from me which indicated that I surely had. She sighed and then said very patiently: ‘Does this mean you need me to get the pink hair dye?’ To which I said in a very small voice: ‘Yes. Thank you. Please. Kind regards.’
No librarianing for me today then. I must go and grovel apologetically for my uselessness and kneel on pencils. Then I must go and be empinkened.
It transpires that I am really incredibly efficient at keeping everyone else’s diary on track, and making sure that all the other members of my family are where they need to be, but when it comes to my own movements, I haven’t got a bloody clue what I’m doing. This is pretty damning.
If I am supposed to be meeting you, seeing you, visiting you, going on some kind of pilgrimage, trip or date, please e-mail me at your earliest convenience and remind me so that I can put it in my diary. That way I stand at least a teeny, weeny chance of actually turning up in the right place at the right time, with the right people. Maybe.
In the meantime it turns out that having consulted the diary and the to do list this week is even busier than last week, and last week was bonkers busy. I have something on every evening this week, as well as commitments every day. It all culminates on Friday afternoon in me having to take Oscar to a bowling party. The venue is situated in one of those retail parks on the edge of the city, right at the junction of several major roads, a shopping outlet and the motorway.
I have to get him there for four o’clock on Friday afternoon, and pick him up at five forty-five. This is going to be hell on earth. In fact, by the time I’d figured out how long it would take me to get home from dropping him off, I would spend approximately ten minutes at home before having to turn round and fight my way through rush hour traffic to go and pick him up, with the very real worry that I would actually be late.
On top of that, the girls’ dad is picking them up for the weekend on Friday afternoon. I have had to arrange to meet him at the retail park and effect a hand over because the only way I can be sure I will be in all the places I need to be at the times I need to be at them, is to take the girls with me, and we will have an early dinner at the retail park, to fill in the waiting time while Oscar is at the Bowling party.
I am not thrilled about this as the retail park has the usual suspects when it comes to food, i.e. Frankie & Bennies where the service is glacial, the food always gives me indigestion and which I loathe with a burning passion, Chiquitos, which is marginally better, but not much, or Pizza Hut, which is less a pizza and more a brillo pad soaked in grease with rubberised plastic poured on top. There is a KFC but I cannot contemplate it without actually feeling a little bit sick.
It’s a double party for two brothers, which means two presents, cards etc. Then, when you add on the cost of feeding three people for the duration of the party, it is going to be about as costly as celebrating Jason’s fortieth, but a lot less pleasurable for everyone concerned, except Oscar who will have an absolutely glorious time. Which is the only thing that makes it worth the candle in the first place.
I knew I should have eschewed having children in favour of breeding dogs. They never go to parties at rush hour on Friday afternoon.