Better Late Than Never

Late blog, due to having been in attendance on a training course all day. Appraisal Training for New Appraisers. Strangely entertaining, given how dry the subject could have been engaging trainer and just the right amount of content. Brain is not fried.

Came home and did some work on Project: Carpark. I’m behind on this project, but that’s self-inflicted. It’s because I decided, radically, to scrap the entire lot when I reached 35,000 words and have been re-writing and re-designing it all. This has put me behind schedule and that makes me pretty damned twitchy. Because that means I might, heaven forbid, be late.

Hence the title of this blog.

“Better late than never,” people cheerily say. Well, to those people, I say wrong! WRONG! I am cursed with being pathologically early for everything. I try, time and again, to be fashionably late, but arrive precisely five minutes ahead of schedule. If it does look like I’m going to be late arriving somewhere, I ring ahead and say ‘OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO BE LATE, THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD’. Invariably what happens in these circumstances, is the meeting I’m going to or whatever it is becomes unavoidably delayed due to other people’s lateness. Even my son was born two months early. Clearly he’s inherited this gene.

I blame it all on my dad. He worked for his entire life on the railways and worked with timetables. (Yes, yes, insert obligatory British Rail never being on time jokes here, heard them all). As such, whenever we went anywhere by train, there was an element of precision involved in the process. We needed to allow xxx minutes for parking, xxx minutes for walking to the station and platform, blah blah blah. Even now when I plan any kind of trip, I build these extra elements into the process. Checking in for a flight. Check in at least two hours prior to departure translates as ‘arrive an hour before check-in even opens’ in my bizarre trip-related lexicon. And when I’m writing – whether it be a short story or a novel – I plan out my targets and stress when I fall behind. I can’t help it. I hate inconveniencing other people by being late.

This is actually me. ACTUALLY ME.

Of course, the flip-side of that coin is those people to whom timekeeping means absolutely bugger all. Ladies and gentleman, exhibit A. The ex-husband. I now re-enact for you, via the medium of text, an exact conversation that took place and may perhaps give some clues as to the inclusion of the word ‘ex’ before ‘husband’.

ME: [The thing we’re going to] starts at 7.30. It takes us about twenty minutes to get there, so we need to leave by 7.00 at the latest.
ME: It’s 6.45pm. Are you going to get ready? (At this point there is a small, but distinct twitch under my left eye).
ME: So we’re not going then?
HIM: What?
ME: With it being, like 7.15pm now. And you not being… ready or stuff?
HIM: Eh. It’ll be fine.

We arrived at 8.15pm on that particular occasion. I was a wreck.

So yes. Off my tangent. Project: Carpark is better for the delete and re-build, but it has put me about 18k words behind schedule. Given that I have the Rest of August coming up, during which I have two weeks off work and intend to slob out a little, it’s entirely possible that September is going to become a pretty stressful month for me. but it’s OK. I can cope with it. I have really got to grips with the writing vibe again over this last couple of weeks and am producing stuff at a happy pace once again. I’m confident I’ll be on time with the completed thing. I’ve only missed one deadline so far since I started writing ‘for a second living’ and I was mortified.

But… if I have to ask for an extra couple of weeks, I’m not afraid to do so. After all…

Please may I be second mouse?


3 thoughts on “Better Late Than Never

  1. I could never bear to be late, because my own mother always was; there was always time for ‘one last job’.

    Lateness is about arrogance in the end; it assumes that your time is more valuable than that of the person or people you’re keeping waiting. I’m not quite the bonkers timekeeper I used to be, but I still try to avoid being late, and it really ought to be possible in most circumstances.

  2. Romaine says:

    I thought it was only be with the early early bird gene. Blame it on school where it was drilled into us that being late would cause all out nuclear war or something equally as drastic. Apparently lateness doesn’t cause this.

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