This is kind of like Things I can’t be bothered to learn, but the difference is that these are activities that are sometimes required of me, or that I should do, and often will. Eventually.
1. Go to the Post Office – It just seems completely ridiculous that the Post Office still exists as a place you have to go to. And that it manages to survive, despite having opening hours solely for the convenience of the retired or unemployed. Yet, whenever I want to send a letter to the US, or a parcel anywhere at all, I have to go to a building to have the something weighed and buy the stamps. This necessity adds about a month to the time it takes me to send anything. I had written my Christmas cards in plenty of time but the only reason they got posted at all this year is that we have a concierge at work and I chucked her £30 and she went to the Post Office for me. Is there an alternative to the PO that I don’t know about?
2. Return books to the library – I have such a problem with this that I have simply given up belonging to libraries. The situation was slightly more manageable when I lived in the US and there were drop boxes for returning books, but even then I owed 6 months’ worth of library fines. I once lived in a street with a library at the end of it, and I still didn’t manage to return my library books until I had actually finished my degree and was moving away from the city. This does not apply with academic libraries, such as the Bodleian, because they are on a higher plane of library existence and I love being enfolded in their wonderful, quiet, limited access space, where no one can find me.
3. Take the recycling bins out – I have huge recycling bins and it does take a few weeks to fill them. But I am constitutionally incapable of remembering the order in which the bins are collected – is it blue and brown week, or green week? I depend on my neighbors putting their bins out first so I can tell. Then I have to go all the way around to the back of the house and lug the bin all the way down the drive to the roadside, which takes all of 47 seconds. I don’t know why it seems so onerous but it really does.
4. Any official admin at all, particularly if it involves numbers – Ugh, forms. I hate filling in forms. So reading my electricity meter (Where is it? How does one read it, anyway? And why aren’t you sending someone round to read it, isn’t that part of what I pay for? And if it isn’t, can I pay for it?) and updating council tax details and anything to do with insurance or bills is basically anathema. I pay everything by direct debit, which means I don’t look at any communication from utilities companies; nor do I care how much my mobile phone bill was this month, last month or any other month except when I was travelling. I’ve begged my bank to stop sending statements but they have to. If I could outsource all of this, I would totally do that. As it is, when the in tray gets too depressing a sight, I designate that Sunday’s Archers omnibus time to opening, filing, binning.
5. Recycling – Because charity shops have similar opening hours to Post Offices, and are always situated in the middle of towns where the parking is difficult. I guiltily donated about 30 books to Sainsbury’s for their in store 50p book shelf, simply because the route was car to trolley to store to ‘here you are’. I am fairly brutal about sorting out unused items, which means bags of old clothes, books and general stuff add to the clutter in the yellow room. That won’t be allowed for much longer. I’m hoping that a positive side effect of The Vision will be that it forces me to do the recycling.