SASSY TOWN FOLLIES by Felicity Appleton no. 26 July 22

Taking Stock

Since I was a little girl I’ve always made lists. Lists of things which I wanted to start and wanted to finish, things I liked and hated and things which seemed important at the time. Now everybody says you should make lists. I’m sure Oprah used to talk about it, but I can’t remember if it was her – maybe it was Martha Stewart – and it isn’t important, I suppose. It just makes sense: if you make lists then you are planning and if you are planning then you have goals and if you are achieving goals then you are being successful. And being successful usually means getting more done.

It’s also just fun to do. I used to use the creamy notepaper my Poppy and Nan gave me, it had faint pink lines on it, and get out my Derwent pencils, also given to me by Poppy and Nan, and write down a string of names I would call my horses, if we ever got the chance to live somewhere like that ungrateful girl Dixie at the end of the street used to go on the weekends, with stables for six and a ménage and all the horsey things I had ever dreamed of. (I had no real evidence that Dixie was ungrateful, but it seemed obvious that she didn’t deserve to have so many lovely horses around her all the time and that if I had been in her position I would have appreciated them all so much more.) So I drew manes and thick beautiful swishy tails and I wrote:

Norman

Marjorie

Stella (I still like Stella as a name)

Violet

Cecily

Africa

Medusa (I’d just been given a book about mythology and Medusa’s snake hair was really cool)

and Archy.

There were others, but those were the names I remember.

Eventually we did get a weekender, with about fifty acres, in the Southern Highlands. Dad’s company landed some huge contract and suddenly there was onyx in the bathroom and an extra BMW in the garage. And we got a new place outside Sutton Forest. And I got a horse. I called him Charlie (he had big ears, like Prince Charles) and so the list of names for horses didn’t lead to anything. But that’s not the point. Lists are fun in themselves. I would write down positive and negative qualities of the Frencham boys I saw on the way to school, when I first started to notice boys, and later on it was the lists I made which helped me to decide which boy to agree to go out with. (I was pretty popular. Heather and I both were.)

Sometimes making lists can take up time I’d rather be spending on something else. Often on a Friday afternoon I’ll be updating something on my iPad (nobody uses paper anymore!), adding items to a list, deleting other items, when Adriano will nag at me to stop doing that and come with him to Bacall’s. Sometimes he even snatches away my iPad, as he knows that will make me follow him.

About this time of year I like to take stock. We do a budget at Sparky People, which involves little audits of all the departments, and I suppose I do something similar for myself. I review the objectives I started with at the beginning of the year and think about how I’m going. I’m proud to report that I have tried berets this winter and that I do look good in them. And I’ve added to my scarf collection. And I’ve been writing this column almost every week. Other than that, well, the results have been mixed. They’ve been pretty bad actually. Still no man. Still driving a car with a tape deck. Not regularly going to the gym. Still confused about exes and my place a SP and what’s happening with Jonesy’s life. I wish things were clearer.

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Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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