I’m on the Five and Two Diet. For those skinny people among you I should probably explain that this is a way of eating that involves limiting ones calories to five hundred on two non-consecutive days per week. During the rest of the week one should eat sensibly (Oh yeah; right.) Yesterday was, for me, one of those starvation days. Breakfast consisted of one Ryvita spread with two Laughing Cow Light ‘triangles’ and lunch was the same but accompanied by a mug of Bovril. You can imagine dear reader, how, on my arrival home from work, I was looking forward to a Weight Watcher’s ready meal with a plateful of broccoli. The time was only 3.30pm so I must kill two or more hours before I could decently eat.
Mavis had offered to help at her school’s open evening so I volunteered to drive her there and wait a full three hours until she emerged again. The three hours would be spent writing, hopefully in a quiet corner of the school.
I thought she said she needed to be at school at six something but, sadly, my head was in my writing when she told me the details.
Whizz was busy so I decided to walk the dog without him, then I would cook some pasta for Mavis and eat my ready meal – I could already taste it. Following our meal, Mavis and I would head off to school, I with my laptop and a flask of coffee, Mavis with shiny shoes and a clean school uniform.
On my return from my poodle – well Labrador-cross really – round the field, I lit the gas under a pan of water, watched it come to the boil and threw in some pasta.
At this point Mavis burst in saying, ‘We need to leave.’
‘We’ve got a while yet,’ replied I, casually.
‘No, we have to be there at 5.45.’
My grotty dog walking clothes!
But mainly: My dinner!
I stuck the ready meal into the microwave and then tipped the contents of the tray into a Klip and Klop box with some reheated broccoli. Mavis danced round me saying ‘Quick.’ and ‘Hurry.’ But there was no way I was sitting in a cold car for three hours with no food inside me.
Laptop into bag, scruffy garden shoes onto feet, coat to hide blobby dog sweater and we were finally off.
‘Will we make it before 6?’ Mavis was anxious.
I looked at my watch, it was 5.30. ‘Oh yes. The traffic will all be coming towards us out of Duckchester.’ I was more reassuring than I felt.
When we reached the end of the dual carriageway there was, of course, a queue of traffic, which we joined.
‘When will we get there?’
‘I’m not sure lovey, it depends on the traffic.’ We were crawling at about five miles per hour.
‘I want to know.’
‘What will be will be, Mavis. I’m doing my best.’
Mavis began to berate me. ‘It’s your fault. You shouldn’t have done the food.’
‘I was hungry.’
‘You could have bought something later.’
‘Look, I’m sorry, OK? I’m doing my best and there’s nothing more I can do.’
At two minutes to six I dropped her off in front of the school entrance. Phew!
I parked the car and consumed my lukewarm dinner, wishing I’d had time to make the flask of coffee. Oh well.
I wrote for two hours, cold, cramped and thirsty. In that time I increased my 71,809 words to 72,126 a net total of 317 words if my maths is correct (go on, I know you want to check it). The usual adding and taking away of words held me up – a prevarication to postpone actually writing more plot.
So, now it’s Thursday. I’ve updated my Linked In profile, Tweeted a bit and written this post. Ooh, I must go shopping, and clean the cooker and hoover the cat and dog – hairs up off the floors. But I will write some more of the novel so watch the word count grow. Deadline – First of March 2014