DougalSome days I’m not even as sharp as Dougal on Father Ted and as my attention wanders, as I lose my keys, glasses, train of thought, I wonder whether to accept it as simple signs of middle-aging..


I’ve been using a TENS machine to help with back pain. About to sit at my desk to write, the niggling ache sends me upstairs to apply the sticky patches and set the nerve blocking current a-buzzing.

Going to the loo with all the wires trailing is tricky, so I sit down to relieve myself before applying the patches. The toilet roll holder is not attached to the wall – a tiny screw came loose a while ago and the toilet roll has been rolling around on the floor for over a week. With the cleaner due, I decide I have to fix it.

I head downstairs to find a screwdriver and pass a duvet cover laid over the banister to dry. I stop and fold it – with the cleaner coming, there’s the inevitable tidying up to do beforehand.

Back to the bathroom to put the duvet cover in the airing cupboard – I see the toilet roll holder – ah yes – and once more downstairs to find a miniature screwdriver wondering where I had last seen the tiny set that came in a Christmas cracker.

No luck in the store room, I head towards the kitchen – One of the cats has been sick so I bend down and clean it up – gosh my back hurts – oh hey – the TENS machine – and upstairs again to fix the sticky pads on – Damn! – there’s the toilet roll holder still awaiting attention – downstairs again to look for the screwdriver.

IMG_1794.JPGBack in the kitchen, I try Simon’s man-drawer where everything small he claims as his, ends up. No luck. Racking my brains I remember the ‘reorganisation’ of the manly tools to the shed – the shed with macho-temple-like status where everything manly, now resides. Irritated, I pull my wellies out of the cupboard. There’s no use to which those screwdrivers are ever put that takes place in the ‘shed’

So, out of the back door and now met by a bunch of hungry hens.

IMG_1690I grab their grain bucket – fortunately I can be super-efficient as their food is also in the shed – I fill up with grain, locate the screwdrivers and head back to the house – I put the screwdrivers on the windowsill next to the egg tray while I remove my wellies – hmmm – I keep forgetting to collect the eggs when no-one is sat on the nest box – a quick look out the window – all seven hens are present. Great ! Seize the moment !

Wellies back on, up to the hen house, collect eggs and remember I have seen a couple of naughty birds ‘announcing’ fresh lays from alternative locations – I search bushes and look near the oil tank finding two nests – Victorious, I return to the house to clean them up.

I remove my wellies and put on the radio while I wipe eggs. I decide it’s also time for coffee and put the kettle on while I rummage in the man-drawer to find a pencil to date the eggs.

IMG_1781 The remains of breakfast are all over the counter – I must tidy it away before the the cleaner gets here – I empty the dishwasher and beginning to load the dirty stuff, notice the red light indicating ‘out of salt’. I root around under the sink for the salt and spot the plant feed for my streptocarpus – some of which have miraculously survived the winter and must now be fed monthly to flower well. I pull out their food along with the dishwasher salt and set off through the house to feed the streptocarpus.

Their soil is a bit dry so I return to the kitchen for the pencil to use as a dibber and spot the dirty eggs I have yet to wipe and date, along with the pack of dishwasher salt. Torn between the multiple uses of the pencil, decide the eggs must be done first before the mud dries onto them.

IMG_1783By the time the eggs are clean and dated, the dishwasher salt replenished, it’s midmorning. I decide to sit down and check Twitter while I drink my coffee, but I spot a bag on the floor containing a few little bits I have meant to send to Mum. Damn – It needs to go in the post today – so off to the bureau to retrieve some stuff to wrap it up – Passing through the lounge, I notice clothes all over the radiators – the cleaner is coming so I gather them up and take them upstairs. I sort them into piles for ironing and whilst I’m at it sort all the pants and socks and put them in our individual drawers

Passing the bathroom, I notice the toilet roll holder – Damn! The screwdriver – I remember it’s on the windowsill – so downstairs.. As I pass the bureau I remember to grab the wrapping stuff (no flies on me) and through the kitchen to get the screwdriver but there is the cafetiere – my coffee threatening to go cold so I think I’ll drink it whilst I wrap my Mum’s gifts.

IMG_1803Now I need the loo again so upstairs to the bathroom.  There’s the toilet roll holder. Aaah! I have a quick wee and muttering ‘screwdriver’ over and over so as not to forget this time, go back downstairs – find it on the windowsill and march upstairs. After some fiddling around, the toilet roll holder is once more secured to the wall. I am triumphant !

Downstairs, at last, to get on with some writing. I go to sit at my desk but it is now covered in streptocarpus plants waiting with food pellets for the pencil-dibber. Back to the kitchen to get the pencil. I notice the set of screwdrivers and decide it would be prudent to return them to the toolbox in the shed whilst I remember. (Or neither of us will know where to find them in future.) Wellies on and down the garden to the shed yet again, I smugly put the screwdrivers away. (Conscientious.)

IMG_1789Wellies off, now muttering ‘streptocarpus – streptocarpus – streptocarpus’, I march through the house pencil-dibber in hand and feed the plants and – at last – sit down to begin writing – OUCH – but my back hurts to sit, DAMN!

I need the TENS machine – and upstairs once more…



If you’ve never seen ‘Father Ted’ to understand just how sharp Father Dougal McGuire is, here’s a lovely clip ▶ Father Ted | Legitimate Mistake | Channel 4 – YouTube.