I've decided to be idle for a day.
Not only did I have a busy and emotional Sunday (Yes Willie Collum I mean you!) but I also had a very busy Monday. Marching here and there, helping in the museum on the day off, marching back here and there, and then doing my Tuesday duty with no help whatsoever (except when I broke the card machine). This has worn out my weak and enfeebled body to the extent that I must lie around like a slob (for a change) doing nothing that would require energy. Pass that tea cup over would you?
It makes a change to be idle.
I am much more used to being occupied with things of note, researching dead soldiers, reading good books, watching football and the like, this sitting and staring into space through the grubby window is not something I am used to. I have had jobs where idleness was part of the day. One office I was forced into had a dozen members of staff and work enough for five of us. Allowing for the fact that many amongst them were not of the highest intellect and the puritan work ethic was not an item they had ever encountered it did mean however I was kept busy. On occasions it was very quiet so I would pop to the loo down the corridor behind us. To fill in the time I would head in the opposite direction, slowly, oh so slowly, and wander down the back stairs. This would lead me through the building for a long detour where I would reach the corridor behind the office then return, slowly, oh so slowly, the way I had come. No-one ever mentioned this! Even the eagle eyed boss with a Maggie Thatcher venom did not notice any absence. Of course once computers were installed the workload, which did not increase in volume, increased to the extent that we were forced to work continually throughout the day taking a full day to complete the work one done in two or three hours. Several members of staff had breakdowns, one disappeared and the boss's head exploded one morning and she was promoted upstairs. Being to good at the job I moved to higher things.
Work, not idleness is my thing. I like work, my desk is piled with work, but I find being idle just looking at it is beginning to wear out my heart, I feel a tension there so excuse me while I push all this paperwork to the side, oops, onto the floor, and relax a wee bit. I do like work, in fact I have watched some of that work pile up for so long it is now past its sell by date and no longer requires my attention, it's just that I have not been able to round to dealing with it, what with all the other work I am sitting looking at here. Previous managers often used to mention how I collected work around me and watched it carefully. Collecting boxes in warehouses was an old trick used by some to avoid work. These rascals were not idling, it was just that by piling boxes high and leaving a small space in the middle they could play cards without needless interruptions from foremen and the like.
Idling this morning by looking through the grubby window I note many individuals idling, standing there shivering while the dog runs about enjoying the sights and smells of the park. The owner, wrapped up against the freezing wind is lit up by the sun shining brightly upon them and by the glass of cognac swallowed before leaving the house. I am not saying the east wind is that cold but I noticed a man feeding anchovies to a penguin earlier! It would be interesting to work out how many hours a woman can stand still over the period of a dogs life while she waits on the brutes pleasure? Standing there hoping not to attract the wrong kind of attention she hovers near a tree in the hope of some shelter, the dog meanwhile attempts to hover near every tree in the park oblivious to her distress and near frostbite. This is a form of idling that I can avoid easily. However I suppose standing at a stop waiting for a bus to arrive is similar. There you cannot seek shelter for some rude soul will take your place and there may not be room on the bus for you. The same goes, albeit slightly differently for millions peering down the track awaiting the 7:43 to their destination. How cold can a train platform be? Those grossly overpriced mobile phones now distract the freezing queues as they wait, murmuring that they have too little cash into their £500 phone.
It is common in Continental culture (do the continentals have culture I ask?) to sit by the roadside inhaling petrol fumes while drinking coffee watching the world go by. This is not really something
I would find easy, to boring, and too nosy really watching people. However watching attractive young women ignore me is something I have become used to, ever since I was about say, oh eleven. Sitting drinking overpriced coffee with stupid names while being rejected is not my idea of fun but it is a form of idleness much loved by many. How many of the people passing by are being idle anyway? Are they unemployed, could they be skivving? Is this parade of beauties just lassies parading as they have nothing else to but be seen? I wonder, so many people walk the streets during the day you are left asking where they all come from and why do they not work like the rest of us had to do for many years?
Anyway, I am worn out doing this. I feel the need to eat and refresh my tired mind and my etiolated frame. After which the need for sleep must be paramount as I only got about seven and a half hours last night, surely I need more? I wonder if somebody might feed me to save me the trouble...