Friday, 27 October 2017

More haste less speed is a pain in Uranus

I don't know whether Mars is in Uranus this week but I'm slowly learning, after minor pratfalls, that rushing to get things done does not pay off. And it leads to a pain in Uranus.

I have edited a once-long chapter in my ms, 'The Keys to Heaven', and cut it by at least at third.The pace is better but in the cutting I neglected the finer things like making page one make sense. In trying to get my editing done before we go away for Richard's birthday I've been rushing at it. Writing won't cope with a race - it shows on the page. I have learned to slow down... It's not worth making errors which then have to be undone - costing more in time and producing poor quality copy.

Similarly I turned a ten-minute repotting job into a two-hour slog this morning. All I had to do was remove a weakling African violet, scrape old compost and leaves from it, put it in specialist species compost, water it, arrrgh..., and place it near the window. So what went wrong with such a simple task?

On my pre-holiday  list of tasks I'd itemised putting garden chairs away, finish painting tubs and switch off the water to the outside tap. We did all that by 11:00 this morning. Hence I decided, with no outside water, to repot my violet in the downstairs wet room. All was going well, although I should have put newspaper down to gather the crumbs of waste compost, until I watered the new, gritty absorbent compost. I didn't realise my new pot had a very large drainage hole in it. As soon as I watered it the compost ran out of the rather large hole and straight into the sink. What a mess! I placed two crocks in the bottom of the pot, yes... should have done that anyway, and completed the job. The plant was looking good but the sink was full of soil, it wouldn't drain and there were spent soil granules on every surface.

Trying to plunge the sink made even more chaos. The suction sent sprays of muddy water around the walls, on the floor, over the lavatory, behind the radiator and everywhere you could think of. And still the water wouldn't drain. I moved everything out of the wet room, tried to tidy, knocked bottles of bleach over and created pandemonium. That bloody African violet was on its last legs and will likely die, and I had a sink which was blocked with perlite and mud.

Richard tried to rescue the situation but he had no better luck than me... It delayed him doing what he needed to do by more than a couple of hours as he had to go to our hardware shop for drain unblocker. What a fool I'd been! Meanwhile, with muddy hands, I had to use another sink to clean up so I could hang out the whiter-than-white washing. It was a lovely, sunny morning.

When Richard returned he had to switch the outside tap back on and uncoil the ready-for-winter hose, push it through our wet room window and, as the hardware store suggested, try to shift the soil by hosing it away. Sink unblocker wouldn't work.

After another hour baling mud out of said wasbasin it was finally free. Water went down the plughole once more. Good old Richard and good old hardware store.

More haste less speed has never been truer than this week. I've been trying to hurry things along so that we can go away for a few days. I've made a mess with my writing, sprayed the downstairs loo with soil and switched the water supply to the outside tap on and off about four times.

My list for today was: put garden chairs away, switch off outside tap, paint outside tubs, repot violet,  iron for our holiday and continue editing - all by 11:00 am this morning. It's almost 4 pm and I have achieved 3 of the above.  I shall now sit quietly and collect my thoughts. Rushing has achieved very little... The sun is shining. If I hadn't packed away the garden chairs I could have sat outside and soaked up some rays... Clearly I need a few days away.🌞

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