So today had two main tasks. The first thing was to prepare for a presentation to colleagues that I am doing tomorrow. The second thing was to prepare for guests who are arriving tomorrow. A beautiful free day and both jobs necessary and not unpleasant.

I woke to a lovely mist smelling of the sea. That required some snuggling in bed and reading for a while longer than usual. After breakfast the mist demanded that I take a constitutional walk around the Common, so I heeded the call. This would put me in the mood for sitting down and getting on with my presentation.

When I got back mid-morning, I was ready to start the day’s work. I took a cup of coffee out to the courtyard so as to think about and plan the work. But my attention was quite diverted by the rust on my two courtyard chairs. This dreadful state of affairs could not continue – not for another day.



The truth is that the chairs have been rusty for a long time, but it was impossible to fool myself into believing they were shabby-chic for one moment longer.

So I set off to find the right kind of paint. It took some driving around to find a paint shop open on a Sunday, but find it I did. I bought the last tin of “mid green” paint which you can paint straight onto rust and metal. Just what I need – after all I haven’t got much time to waste and certainly no inclination to deal with wire brushes and primer.

Just before midday I start painting. What a genius I am: music drifts out through the french doors, sun warms my back and there’s nothing like a mindless task like this to focus my thoughts on tomorrow’s presentation. Quite soon however I am pretty bored with the painting and I can’t for the life of me think what possessed me to tackle the subject that seemed so interesting and important a couple of months ago. I’ll probably have to do a whole lot of extra reading to put anything half decent together. Ah well, there’s still time.

I finish one chair – it’s taken much longer than I expected, but it’s looking good. Time for a lunch break. Actually I’m exhausted and need a good rest before tackling the second chair. My thoughts are clear and focused as I think about what I need to do to prepare for my guests. I know exactly what is on my shopping list and I have various ideas of what to cook for a lovely welcoming meal. Only one little problem – it’s too late to get to the shops today.

How long can it take to paint these dratted chairs? Why did I ever think they were attractive with all that silly detail and curlicues? Why do I never just get on with what needs to be done, especially if it’s something vaguely academic? Why do I mess with priorities in such an alarming way?

But finally both chairs are done. They shine and shimmer in iridescent green.


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As I tidy up, clean the brush and put the paint away, I see that it recommends two coats of paint. Are they quite mad? I’ve just spent a day tiring myself out. My shoulders are aching. I will need a very good rest. And then I’ve got two important jobs to do.

Maybe if I get up early, I can do them tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “The perversity of procrastination

  1. Hi Daphne . This made me laugh and also got me quite upset! I have put off doing the farm financials for a week and a half. There are many more interesting things to do. Like mow the lawns , crafts and working in the garden (a full day today). What has happened is that tomorrow (Monday the 4th of May) is my last and FINAL day to catch up – catch up with a months capturing of invoices, b/statement, reconciling and balancing! And to capture the budget – not only my fault in this delay but the farmer who just hates admin! Budget behind by two months going into three. Strangely this has been the first time in 5 years that I have not done the financials on time!! Usually I get it out of the way and then I have two weeks free of doing crafts etc. But not this time…….this time I am late! And I have a “boss” and a “manager” who need the figures! I have vowed NEVER AGAIN is this going to happen. Let’s hope there are no more temptations when I wake up in the morning!! Oh my I do have a Pilates class from 9-10am! Oh what to do what to do???

  2. I’m sure you managed everything perfectly!

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