Does anyone much get through life without a list?

I am pretty sure that there is a school of thought somewhere which says that if you don’t make lists in writing and instead work at remembering what to get when you are out, what you planned for supper and those basic domestic things you need to do this week, your brain gets a whole lot of exercise and you don’t get dementia.

But for me, without a list life would be like a poor Impressionist painting, not too bad from a distance but close up, those essential little blobs of paint would be missing.

In the old days when I had more than a housewife’s life, I would have rather interesting lists with a mix of stuff ranging from emailing a film director I wanted to come and speak at an event, to fixing up to go mushrooming in Nunhead cemetery.

Now it is all so much more boring – boring to me even, leave alone anyone else.

My skinny bliss has both a busier life and a good theory on lists.

She says, always start a list of things to do with something you have already done or can knock off very quickly. Then you can tick it off and feel good.

She also says this is the way to galvanise you into action to get the other, more intransigent things done.

Well maybe it works for her, but I end up with things being taken off one list and put onto another until I run out of notebook.

Sometime, I have left it so long and moved the task so often, I can’t remember what it was about. I found one the other day which said ‘note on bombing.’

Only as writing that have I remembered what it means.

I do quite like starting lists which don’t involve me in doing anything.

I am starting one at the moment which is a list of things that annoy me.

You, dear reader, can have a sneak preview of what in due course will become a very long list:

People not putting their supermarket trolleys back properly. It takes two seconds to push your trolley back into the line and save some poor being, out in the rain, from having to organize them all. And don’t get me going on people who just abandon them in the nearest parking space.

(As you can see, my reluctant housewife soul is coming to the fore here. )

Cushions on beds – what on earth are they for? They have to be taken off and slung on a chair somewhere. (Now, I have to admit, that behind me in our spare bedroom at two cushions on the bed but only because I made them and was rather pleased with myself at the time of their creation, and cannot bring myself to get rid of them – there is no practical or even aesthetic reason for them.)

Bombing ISIS or IS or ISL or whatever name they go by this week. Yes, I know they are a bunch of vicious, bullying bigots who have captured or been given a lot of weapons and are making life extremely miserable for a lot of people.

But they are not a traditional army, they don’t have HQs with a neon sign saying ‘Here, bomb this bit.’

They are scattered among a population in a vast area and the first British planes that went to bomb them couldn’t find them. We were told the pilots came back with a lot of ‘valuable intelligence’ but presumably that was intelligence of where ISIS weren’t.

Instead, let’s spend the equivalent money it costs us to bomb them on making life better for the Syrian refugees, the Sudanese, the Iraqis  – and get them to like us rather than being bombed by a drone ‘managed’ by a boy in Nevada.

Loading the dishwasher. Men just don’t seem to get the point, and it is a really, really simple point, that leaving your dirty dishes on the surface above the dishwasher is not a hint to the kitchen fairies but a annoyance to the person who needs that space to prepare supper. Enough said, after all no man likes a nagging wife.


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