I try not to get distracted by the internet but I do, just like I get distracted by everything else. Usually at ten past midnight I find myself trawling through strange but fascinating photographs – of a man with seven arms but very little of anything else; of plastic surgery mishaps so bizarre you wonder what on earth possessed the patient to have it done. Could it be a case of the spider and the fly? First lot a disaster, second lot to put the first disaster right, second lot a disaster, third lot to put the first and second disasters right… How do people – women, especially – end up looking like something out of a travelling fair when they started off (by my standards, anyway) naturally beautiful?
Sometimes, however, I click on something that catches my imagination. I do believe it might have been one in the morning last night, but I did doze off in front of the TV – the end of yet another Andromeda repeat followed by Australian policemen apprehending one motorist after another for speeding and complicated drugs offences – for a couple of hours. As you get older, you do tend to do that – same amount of actual sleep, but collected in increasingly random instalments.
I am, however, hoping not to take after my mother who now speed-walks around her care home all day and most nights, collapsing in a chair for an hour every now and again, to fall into a slumber so profound that no one can wake her. They say she’s the fastest old lady they’ve ever had – like Road Runner, almost. They intercept her by the meds trolley to dole out her tablets but by the time they’ve got the pills into the little cup she’s off again and they have an awful job to find her. She’s wearing out her new pink slippers. Even her fingernails seem to have speeded up. We keep having to remind the carers to cut them.
But frogs. For breakfast.
Well, according to this motivational video I stumbled across in the wee small hours of last night, the way to get things done is to eat one’s live frog first; the frog being the task you are least wanting to do. The idea is that the frog, if not eaten, will weigh on your mind. Yes, its uneaten-ness will exhaust you, stress you, de-motivate you, even if you don’t realise it’s doing so. What you should do is make a list, each morning. Having made the list you circle the frog, and you tackle that first.
So I did that. At one o’clock in the morning or thereabouts I made a list for the next day – which was of course by now today. It began something like this:
- To Post Office to return Amazon parcel (cat carrier too small to house any known cat – a gerbil maybe)
- Strip bed and sheet washing (I do that every Saturday)
- Blog post
- Keep fingers crossed bank statement doesn’t arrive (it did, of course)
- Go through solicitors’ paperwork (more important but dull letters, important but dull forms, important but dull energy assessments, dull this and dull that – than you could shake a stick at).
Now, you can guess which is going to be the frog, can’t you? That massive bundle of solicitors’ paperwork. This has to be done either today or tomorrow because on Monday I have to ring the solicitors and make an appointment to go in and discuss it all, have my signature to the contract witnessed, etc., etc.
I dutifully circled it and wrote in big letters FROG!!!
Then I went to bed, and couldn’t sleep. It hardly seemed worth it by that time, and I was being interfered with (no, that doesn’t sound right…) by three cats. The Gingery Gentleman seemed determined to get under the duvet for a dribble-and-purr; Mary seemed to be determined to beat up said Gentleman, and Missy – Mary’s fluffy double apart from a mad-looking eye – seemed determined to beat up both Gingery Gentleman and Mary. The claw-swiping, fur-scattering battle raged on around my head. And it was hot – too hot. And down the hill some poor outdoor dog barked on and on the night. And my head was still full of uncooked frogs, seven-armed men and plastic surgery disasters.
And this morning – did I consult my To Do list and consume my frog? No, of course not, because I am constitutionally incapable of taking either my own or other peoples’ advice. Frog will be eaten next, I promise, as soon as I’ve finished watching that yellow digger thing digging up the front garden of the neighbour over the road and all those men standing about, conferring with one another but not actually doing anything.
Do you know, there was a giant lorry as well, this morning, with a hoist for taking away the soil? Do you know, one of those men decided to take a voluminous pee against one of the giant tyres of the giant lorry? He stood with his back to my front window (one small mercy) for all the world as if my net curtains made him invisible…