Every November, it’s a tradition in our house that a new calendar for the next year is hung up underneath the existing one, ready for all those important reminders and appointments for the months ahead.
My wife is in charge of calendar selection and ever since we’ve had children she’s gone for a ‘family organiser’ with multiple columns – 2013’s features jokey fruit and vegetable characters and also includes a helpful little pad of paper for notes.
Unhelpfully, it seems that all families have a maximum of five members and next year’s organiser, like all the previous ones we’ve had, has five columns, whereas there are six people in our household.
Being twins, it is our boys who have dipped out and had to share.
This is a little ironic because, what with school, clubs and other appointments, they have quite a busy schedule, whereas my column is invariably empty.
Week after week, month after month, year after year the second column on our calendar (yes, I know my place) remains spectacularly devoid of entries.
In years to come, if a family historian came across one of the calendars, packed away in one of the many dusty boxes full of rubbish that inhabit our loftspace, they would say to themselves: “What a lazy, sad man he was – he never did anything!”
And I suppose, in one respect, that’s correct because I am lazy about putting things on to the calendar – I rely more on notes and reminders scribbled on to scraps of paper and stuffed into pockets or used as bookmarks in the novel I’m reading at the time. Of course, there are flaws in this system and occasionally I get a nasty little shock, followed by a pang of guilt, when I pull a bit of paper from the pocket of a garment I haven’t worn for a while and find a reminder about something I’d now missed. Even worse is when I find a missive that I don’t remember writing and have no idea what it relates to.
Luckily, my wife is very organised and all the important family events and appointments get put in her column on the calendar – she looks very busy indeed. That same family historian will think: “That poor, overworked woman, how did she cope?”