Other things I haven't done this week.
1. I haven't managed to set up our new landline phone. We have a new one, but all we've done is plugged it in and answered it a few times. This appears to be the limit of our skills with it. I did have a look at the manual last weekend to see if I could work out how to set up the answerphone, put in some automatic numbers and adjust the settings on it. But then I realised I could more easily learn complex medical terminology about obscure parts of the body in an ancient Peruvian language. This weekend I have been avoiding the phone, giving it a wide berth when I walk past it, like I do people on the street who are dribbling and making unggghhh noises and rolling their eyes at me.
I hate new technology, but I hate the manuals more. I need one of these to cope ......
2. I haven't started reading a new novel yet. This is a source of great trouble to me, that I am finding little time to read. I haven't managed to read a whole book since the summer holidays. Yesterday, though, I got cross about all this, and deliberately picked up a book of short stories about Christmas which someone gave me last year, thinking I ought to be able to put time aside for at least one. I laid a large tablecloth over my pile of marking, and sat on the sofa by the fire. In the end, I read one story by Dickens and one by Gogol. Gogol I've never read before, but it was a cracking yarn with devils and witches and drunks in Russian provinces who get trapped in sacks. Not only was it a cracking yarn, but I love saying the name 'Gogol'. Gogol, Gogol, Gogol. You should try it yourself. It's fun. If you keep repeating it, you sound as though you're doing that clicky thing with your throat that some Africans can do, and you come over all ethnic.
|Fran enjoyed Gogol's story, but when she looked up a picture of him on Google, wasn't|
so impressed by his haircut.
3. I haven't done the sewing I was meant to do: mending two pairs of my trousers and one pair of my husband's. While these items sit in the Leaning Tower of Mending in the bedroom, my husband and I are seriously wardrobe-challenged. But I hate sewing and always moan about it. I remember once I was sewing a button on when the Younger Daughter came in with a friend from school and said, 'Oh, look at you, Mum, trying to look all domesticated just because I bring a friend home.' This was grossly unfair, but it does show you how seldom I ever got round to the sewing. My skills are very limited. I got thrown out of sewing class at school because I tried to make a pair of flares, sewed them up the wrong way and ended up with jodhpurs. I am currently wearing a pair of black trousers whose hems I took up in 1994 but did it with grey cotton rather than black. It couldn't be more obvious, because I am to delicate stitching what The King of Tonga is to ballet. Every time I wear them I vow that, next time they need washing, I will re-do the hems with black cotton before ironing them. And I never do. This is called sew-crastination.