It started with 50 things to do, all by lunchtime. It was possible to fit them all in, if I'd been calm and methodical. Instead I rushed and panicked and everything took twice as long. On the morning's TO DO list was:
1 Booking a taxi for 12.15
OK, that's only 12, but it felt like 50.
I did the emails first: I can never resist them. They took longer than was ideal. I flapped a bit and knocked the contents of a pencil pot across the floor. I cursed. I booked the taxi before I forgot, then I chose books for the event, gathered posters, blutack, bookmarks, a piece of artwork to show.
I thought I'd best draw the snake next and get it emailed, as it mustn't fall off the end. It needed to be an ink drawing. I got ink, paper, but could I find the mapping pen? I hunted. I cursed. I found the mapping pen in a cupboard, with a piece of card taped over the end to protect the nib (left from when we moved). I tried to pull it off. It wouldn't budge. I pulled more vigorously. It flew off and I stabbed my finger hard with the sharp pen nib. I cursed. I sucked my finger.
I dipped the pen and began drawing. I got blood all over the paper. I cursed. I considered hunting for a plaster. I couldn't be bothered. I sucked my finger and started again. Blood smudged on my fingers, but the paper was ok. It was looking good, but the ink was thick in places: it would take a while to dry. I finished it off then dragged my sleeve through the wet ink: a huge black splodge obliterating his nose; a black cuff. I cursed. Then I saw I'd already smudged it in the other corner earlier and not noticed. I checked my hand. Black ink. I cursed.
I prepared the things for posting and rushed out to the post office, running until the wheezing became embarrassingly loud. I got back and allowed myself a mug of tea. I chased the invoices by email, phoned the bank, paid the bill, updated my listings. I looked at my watch. 11.40 - I had to have something to eat before the taxi!
I ran downstairs, made and scoffed a sandwich while pacing. I put on lipstick. The phone rang: the snake file was too big, it hadn't gone through properly. Could I send it again? I checked my watch. 12.00. I shrieked then cursed. I went back into Photoshop and saved the drawing again, smaller. I emailed it again. I gathered everything together and was in the hall for 12.14. Perfect. The taxi arrived. On time! Wonderful.
I opened the front door... and realised I had no idea where I was going. I rushed back up 3 flights, found the folder, took out the details, ran down three flights of stairs, put on the alarm, got into the taxi and... relaxed.
I spent the afternoon working at a drop-in centre on the other side of Sheffield, entertaining a miscellany of under 11s from Tinsley, who were at a loose end during the holiday: as relaxing as a hot bath, after that morning!!