Several hours ago I was struck by a peculiar and unusual urge, an urge which took me unawares and swept me up into a frenzy of immediacy and action, an urge which I found myself incapable of fighting. It was the urge to tidy and rearrange my office.
This is indeed an unusual urge, so unusual in fact that in the four years I have had a home office I don’t recall it ever striking me before – or at least not with such force.
It all began when I decided to look for my 2006 work diary, to check a dusty memory. I knew where it was. If you had come upon me (behave!) at any point between Dec 31st 2006 and the present day and asked me “Where is your 2006 work diary, Claire?” I would have responded firmly, promptly and without hesitation “It’s in the file on the top shelf, Cedric.” (assuming that your name is Cedric, that is. I wouldn’t just call you Cedric regardless. That would be impolite).
Well, had you asked me, Cedders, and had I told you as described above – I regret to tell you it would have been a grade A cast-iron copper-bottomed LIE. The diary was not in the file on the top shelf. It was actually in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, a fact which sadly escaped me until after I had completely turned the office inside out.
As anyone knows, there is a moment during the Massive Tidy Up Process when the urge to tidy up completely buggers off. It’s just at the point when you look round and realise that you have turned a slightly untidy room into a scene of total devastation, and that there is absolutely no way you can change your mind about the whole thing and just have a cup of tea and a biscuit instead, mainly because you have blocked your exit from the room completely. That moment occurred about four hours ago and I have been trying to dig my way back to the surface ever since.
Please send a St Bernard with a small barrel of brandy – and a large barrel of cake.