It’s that time of year again. April. The time of year when I move house. Two years ago we moved from Derby to Roquetaillade. Last year we moved from Roquetaillade to Saint-Sornin, and I moved my son from our sold Derby house to his rented first-home-of-his-own. And now I am back in Derby to move him to another house, in which he will hopefully be happier than he has been for the last twelve months in the one he is about to joyfully leave.
I have temporarily exchanged the stresses of Turbulent Beasts and Wounded Husbands for the stresses of Packing and Heaving Far Too Much Stuff to Various Locations, yet to be determined. And I am once again suffering the Oppression of the Deadline.
Just to add a little frisson of extra anxiety to the moving situation, everything has to be done and dusted before end of play on Friday evening. On Saturday, I will be returning to Saint-Sornin with my son, daughter and granddaughter for their already booked visit to our country haven, and my son’s current house has to be empty and spotless, ready for the agent’s inspection the following week, which will determine what percentage of the extortionate damage deposit we will get back, to fund the expenses of his move to his new rental. And to add to the fun, he is moving to a much smaller house, so at least half of what is in his current house (much of which belongs to his sister, and some of which belongs to me) will have to go into storage. And we can’t start moving anything till Wednesday. And he only has two days leave left this year, so he has to work on Friday. And there is, as I believe I may have already indicated, Too Much Stuff. And there are Too Many Unknowns. And there is overall Too Much Pressure and Not Enough Time.
Well actually there probably is enough time, but there is a Clear and Present Deadline, which somehow causes Time to shrink and shrivel, and take on the semblance of a dense and menacing creature which snaps viciously at my dilatory heels, and intimidates me with the Awful Axe of Finity. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE DEADLINES!
Actually, one of my all-time favourite quotes is the one from Douglas Adams, who said “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” For much of my life, and for so-called deadlines such as dates by which dissertations have to be completed, or work reports have to be done, it is a quote by which I have happily lived. These are arbitrary deadlines which hold no real significance for Procrastinators-Par-Excellence, such as myself, and I know from many years of experience that such deadlines can come and go without serious consequence. There is, after all, that glorious thing known as The Extended Deadline. And if a deadline can be extended, then clearly it isn’t a real deadline. And if it can be extended once, it can be extended twice, three times….ad infinitum. Yes indeed – I have lived the best years of my life to the accompaniment of the sound of whooshing.
But there are some deadlines which are real. There are some situations in which time truly can run out, and for which no amount of creative extenuating circumstance can save your bacon. These are the deadlines that I loathe with a vengeance. And it is one of these that is hanging over me now, like a raised gavel of doom, tying my recoiling stomach into sick little knots, and messing with my planning-averse mind, so that even the multitasking distractions of blog-post writing, Malcolm-in-the-Middle watching and offspring conversing about anything-other-than-the impending-move cannot dispel my awful sense that mañana does in fact, sometimes, actually come.