Monday, 8 May 2006

Monday, and there's work to be done. Later.

Tilly in the wilderness. She's sticking her tongue out, but not in anticipation of catching the hen and chicks. She was happy.

Tilly, my dog, had a wonderful afternoon. She found a mouse in a pile of wood and, although it escaped quickly, it took her a couple of hours to be quite sure of that. She snuffled through the wood and everything else nearby, enjoying the feeling of being a hunter and, it seemed, quite unbothered to end up with nothing at all. When I finally called her back to the house she was proud and joyful and obviously very happy. She lay asleep in her favourite chair most of the evening (yeah, we spoil that dog), legs twitching in dreamy memory.

I’ve got a meeting here (in my house, not in my office, which is in my house but not available for meetings as it would involve too much tidying up first) in a couple of hours. So I’m here to get together all the papers and stuff. You will observe that I’m not actually doing that, because it is not very interesting, but it is there to be done. I also have to clear up and hoover the room where we will hold the meeting. Having had a jolly family weekend, the house is neither clean nor tidy. These are not interesting jobs either (especially as I’ve noticed that something unidentifiable has been spilled on the carpet, right by the door where I can’t move a rug to, so I will have to clean it). Unfortunately, my housekeeping standards are so much lower than everyone else’s that I am satisfied and stop tidying at about the point that everyone else would think, gosh, this place is a tip, time for a good clear-out.

The thought of this is by no means as worrying as Wednesday, when 10 people will be coming here for an all-morning meeting, after which I have invited them for lunch. Now, this will be a pleasure (assuming today’s efforts will not have undone themselves by the day after tomorrow), as all the committee are friends, but I am rather aware that the only part of my garden which is not a complete wilderness of weeds and overgrown undergrowth is the kitchen garden, and the committee member who would be most likely to go and have a look there is on holiday and therefore not coming. It does me good to have to face up to my shortcomings however, and at least the field looks pretty as you come down the drive.

This morning was spent at the local high school, interviewing prospective admin assistants. Very good applicants, hard to choose between the final two. There is quite a gulf, in schools, between the rates of pay of teaching and non-teaching staff, because the non-teaching staff are paid only for the hours they work (plus statutory holiday pay), whereas the teachers are paid for school holidays. The person we appointed, who is my age (but looks younger, dammit, what has she got that I haven’t?) doesn’t work in a school at present, so may well be taking a pay cut. I don’t think the government is likely to do anything about it as it would cost so much; the extra payment would have to go from everyone to the cleaners and cooks to the office staff and teaching assistants. This does not seem to affect the quality of applicants to the jobs however, which is usually very high.

Half an hour gone. Dear oh dear.

A LITTLE LATER - oh, no, I've wasted another few minutes on - no, I'm not linking it because, if you haven't been there before, you will spend hours chuckling and I will have led you astray. I already have a daughter to lead astray and must not tempt you to stop working too.

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