A World Of Distractions

Enough of this and this is how you DON’T finish a manuscript. My wife had to be in central London early Friday. So we drove from Wiltshire to Enfield (the M4 again, but no Sara Bareilles this time) on Thursday night to sleep over at my in-laws.

London, Thursday evening. Temperature in centigrade. It's not Buffalo.
London, Thursday evening. Temperature in centigrade. It’s not Buffalo.

I was to spend the day at their house. I had brought along my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (as well as all other required electronics). I thought I’d have a few hours to do some writing quietly.

What on earth was I thinking?

After yesterday’s post, I walked the two dogs for them. (One of them is ours. He stayed with them for long periods when we were back and forth to the U.S.; I’d like him back, but my mother-in-law is now so attached to him she doesn’t want to give him up. The other belongs to a brother-in-law who works all day.) No surprise. Dog-walking is always within the outline of any day like this.

After dog walkies, I had a quick coffee. Their house badly needed a vacuum from all the dog hair. (Although still energetic and fit, hoovering is getting tougher for them – especially the stairs.) While they were at the supermarket, I attacked that job. When they returned, they were thrilled to discover I’d done it. (Good son-in-law.)

I had a quick shower, and then started a fast lunch. Plenty of time for a couple of hours at the writing in the afternoon. I was good to go.

While I was eating, however, my father-in-law began making noises about driving over to a family friend who’s moving house in a few days. She lives on the far side of Enfield where there are no driveways, street parking is really difficult, etc. Before she moves, though, he wanted to collect a carpet cleaner the woman had promised them.

He’d also had whisky before his own lunch. My mother-in-law wasn’t happy. “You just had a drink. You know you can’t drive now.” A quick solution appeared. “I’m sure Robert will drive you,” she said.

Yep, of course Robert would. That didn’t happen quickly, though. It took about another half an hour to get out the door, and we were then out for about an hour total. And the carpet cleaner was duly collected. (And there was a parking space right in front of their friend’s house – in a road that was otherwise jammed with cars end to end. A miracle!)

It still gets dark pretty early in England in later January. The dogs needed their second walk. Shortly after we got back, it was dogs again into car, and out again to the park.

My wife re-appeared about 5pm. “How was your day, dear?” she asked with a knowing grin. “Got lots done?”

Smart aleck. 🙂