Tuesday 19 December 2023: A Pomodoro kind of day

Image by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pixabay

I didn’t have time to catch up with sleep on Saturday morning after Friday’s mammoth session. We had to get to the vet before they closed to pick up some medication for the dog I hadn’t realised we were so close to needing when we were there the week before, and before we went out I also had to do a shopping list.

We went to the vet’s first, and I nipped in to collect the pills while the poet nipped to the pet shop to get the dog his usual food. We can only get it from the pet shop, they don’t seem to sell it in any of the supermarkets. Then we drove around to the supermarket to do our regular weekly shopping.

There was a Christmas tree seller outside and after the aborted trip the previous weekend, we didn’t hold out much hope. But the lady had quite a few trees that would fit in our bay window, so we bought that first and stashed it in the car before doing the rest of the shopping.

The poet also had to draw out money to pay the fencer (🤺). He already had cash on him, which he took into account. On the way home we stopped at the butcher’s to get the rest of our weekly shopping. We got home, put the shopping away, brought the tree in, and had something to eat.

The dog was coming with us for a ride to pay the fencer, but when the poet counted the money out, he was £30 short… It took us a while to realise that’s how much the tree cost us. So we had to go to the cashpoint again to get the shortfall out.

While the dog and I waited in the car, the poet had a long chat with the fencer on the man’s doorstep and when he got back into the car he said, ‘Right, he’s coming back in the morning to price up the hedge-cutting at the front of the house.’ I asked him what time, and he said ‘ten o’clock.’ So bang went another chance to catch up on some sleep.

Back home, the poet put the tree up where it will be going but that’s as far as either of us got. We were both tired after relatively busy weeks, so we had an easy tea and slobbed out in front of the telly for the evening.

On Sunday, the gardener (now) rolled up at bang on 10am. He had a look at the work that needed doing and gave us a price. When the poet said yes and asked him when he could come and do it, he said he could do it now. I thought his son was taking him out for a meal, and he was, but he said he had time to get started at least.

So while the gardener set about filling his long-wheelbase wide truck with quite a lot of our garden, we started to re-arrange furniture in the living room. By the time we’d all finished, it was getting on for 3pm. But the gardener did indeed finish it all, saying he’d postponed the meal with his son. He could do that any time, but he wanted to get our front garden done.

We still have the grass to cut, the lawns to edge, the borders to turn, the roses to prune and the apple tree to ‘shock’, but at least we can get to it all now. And he’s coming back in January to sort out the boundary hedges and trees in the back garden too.

He did make a start on the back garden, in fact the most important part as far as garden work is concerned: the hedging at the front of the house was spreading into the back garden at the side of the house and crushing the greenhouse, breaking several panes of glass. The hedging was also creeping into the greenhouse and taking root there.

This overgrowth was so bad that not only was it pushing the greenhouse over, it was stopping us getting in. Now we can get in, clear away that excess growth, replace the broken glass, and perhaps have the greenhouse up and running in time for the start of the new season in the garden.

The hedges weren’t just taking over the garden, though. It was also growing over the house, up the walls, over the roof, and pushing some felt up on a flat-roofed area. Which meant the weather might also be given a shortcut in.

We’ve spent quite a lot more than I’d like to spend on a house that isn’t even ours, and we’ll be spending even more when he goes into the back garden. But oh, it’s worth it. It will be much more manageable for the poet, I’ll be able to get to the borders more easily, and we should be able to grow some of our own food next year too. Plus, the fencing contains the dog.

Off the gardener went with his netted truck, and we had something to eat before going out again to get him his money. While we were out, we also posted the domestic Christmas cards and we stopped off to visit the mother-in-law on the way back.

When we got back, the poet made a lasagne in advance for Monday’s tea, he put the Sunday dinner on, and I made a pear eve’s pudding. He spent some time in the new ‘music chair’ in the living room with headphones on, while I sat in the ‘reading chair’ and read, and we had dinner in the dining room. We spent the evening on the ‘telly settee’.

Surprisingly, I still managed to get up on time on Monday, but I had missed the lie-ins at the weekend. Nevertheless, I spent my first Pomodoro feeding the dog, giving him his medication, making and eating my own breakfast, and getting washed and dressed. My second Pomodoro was spent finalising yesterday’s blog post and starting today’s.

By my third Pomodoro, I was ready for work. It should have been one of the stories, but I decided instead to do the admin first, updating my word- and page-count spreadsheets for last week. I’d been so busy I hadn’t got around to it. I also shared the last three blog posts on BlueSky. JetPack is managing the Facebook shares at the moment.

Then it was this week’s diary, which started by me first replicating ClickUp to TickTick, as I’d already done the planning work on the latter. Replicating it in this way helped me learn how to do everything on TickTick and, so far, it does everything ClickUp does – everything – and some. For example:

  • TickTick has a perpetual rolling calendar, something the paid clients of ClickUp have been asking for for 3 years. (ClickUp say we can integrate with Google calendar, but I’m not paying for ClickUp when the features I want are free on Google. Plus, I want everything in one place to save time, which is the point.)
  • TickTick works offline, something else the paid clients have been asking for. (ClickUp say it does work offline, but it doesn’t. You have to connect first and then disconnect, while ClickUp is still open.)
  • TickTick has a built-in Pomodoro timer, called ‘Focus Pomo’ on TickTick, and it allocates each Pomodoro to each project. (ClickUp integrates with PomodDone, which is another premium app. I’m already paying for ClickUp, these features should be included.)
  • TickTick has a sticky note feature you can pin to your desktop. There’s another extra app I can remove.

And this is what I’ve found out after only one day of working with TickTick. I can also add start and end dates and skip weekends. I can recur tasks and skip weekends. I can colour-code tasks and sub-tasks so they stand out on the calendar. I can hide weekends on my calendar. ClickUp does all of this, but for twice the price.

I don’t need all of the teams functions, but I believe TickTick also has a teams function. But so far it’s doing everything I want it to. I just have to find it.

In the end, I did my diary to the end of the year. And then I spent the next Pomodoro (my fourth of the morning, but the third of my work sessions) uploading the next chapter of DIARY OF A SCAREDY CAT to Substack. By the time I’d done that, it was dinner time. (I start work at 10am and take three Pomodoros to dinner time.)

For a change, I had my dinner in the living room rather than at my desk. When I came back to work, I felt as though I’d had a proper dinner break. I didn’t do a great deal of writing, though. In fact, my writing work consisted of more brainstorming and thrashing out than actual writing. I touched base with both stories before doing another load of decluttering on social media.

A letter came from the hospital following my investigative procedure in November. The procedure apparently identified some ‘very small stones’ in my gall bladder. I said I thought it might be very small gallstones right at the start, but the ultrasound didn’t pick anything up and neither did the MRI. That’s how tiny they are.

I’m so glad they found something at last, as I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t take drugs, and I’m not diabetic, but pancreatitis happens for a reason and it usually flares up more than once too. At least now we can move forward with options, which I’ll no doubt discuss with my consultant when I see him in January.

I did some research, called the poet to let him know, and took the bin out and opened the gates for him, as someone had parked in his usual spot at the front of the house.

This post now stands at 1,753 words, so time to step away from it and try and do some more work.

Today I could do with the editing job to come back from the author so I can get it to our handler before she breaks up for the holiday. He hadn’t acknowledged it at the time of writing, though, so I may fire off an email to her first thing anyway. If that comes in and I send it off, I’ll also be raising the invoice. Yay!

4 thoughts on “Tuesday 19 December 2023: A Pomodoro kind of day

    1. I think it is. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. I just need something nice and sparkly to keep me interested.

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