Surely Some Mistake

Chatting with a friend this evening, I realised that for the last few weeks I have been increasingly tied up with what I can only describe as ‘work shaped activities’ – things which have every quality that you would normally associate with doing for a job, apart from the bit where money arrives in your bank account in return for it. So I have been to meetings (some of which involved cake, but most of which did not), I have written up notes, read and sent countless emails, taken Skype calls, created Excel spreadsheets, updated websites, met deadlines, circulated agendas, updated my wall planner* and written reports. With footnotes. And references.

All of this has left distressingly little time for the things I quit my actual job to have time to do like garden, ride my bike (except to meetings), play with the new house and generally enjoy myself.** It also leaves me with the slightly scary prospect of giving evidence to a committee next week in the Scottish Parliament about cycling and climate change, which is both exciting, in a way, and also deeply worrying. I mean, it’s great that they’re asking Pedal on Parliament to give evidence, and are taking us seriously in matters of policy. But on the other hand, there’s a voice in my head wondering what on earth I think I personally am doing opining on these matters. There’s a whole government apparatus out there which should be perfectly capable of reading a few policy documents and sets of statistics, throwing together a spreadsheet and working out a few figures, with footnotes, and references. But then when I read what the government apparatus had actually come up with on the subject …

Draft Climate Change Plan snippet

er, what?

… I realised that even someone who can’t even keep their wall planner stuck to their wall could do a better job than that. So it might as well be me.

* Except that it has now fallen off the wall and is now a floor planner

** I am, however, making time to do some writing, thanks to taking my own advice regarding procrastination. Well, so far this week, anyway…

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8 Responses to Surely Some Mistake

  1. Elizabeth Rich says:

    Do make time for writing. I am looking forward to another novel!

  2. ballsofwool says:

    Sometimes you do that spring- cleaning your brain thing and swept under a metaphorical rug you find the “What on earth am I doing?!” question.
    (Can you tell I just had my second mid-life crisis.)
    You are great at what you do.
    But what you describe is what I’m thinking David Cameron meant by the Big Society.
    You’re shafted.
    But also
    You’re brilliant at what you do.
    Glad you’re writing.
    And (my sister says)
    It’s February, it’s nearly spring.

  3. Charles says:

    I find in winter I do the things I do not like, I am still a trustee of the pension fund of the company I left, in the evening or when the weather is foul. When the weather and daylight improves I remember I am not being paid, people can wait for a few days and I get on with the garden and exploring the south west. Currently it is quite fresh here, I have just retrieved my recycling bins from my neighbours farm yard. In my slippers…still not quite blending in.

  4. Thanks for sharing the Scottish government document

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