I rather like Monday although in many ways it is the dump day of the week. It is the day that you readjust your bearings, straighten your girdle and assure yourself that this is the week when you will start to sort things out. Plan the move to the big country mansion with the couple of acres of garden, find out about the best place to buy the large sea front apartment in the South of France, ring the boat builder and tell him your specifications for the 60 footer you want moored in the harbour at Antibes and discuss where you can hanger the Piper Navajo with all the latest navigational equipment.
It is also the day that you can look back on the previous week and acknowledge that things didn’t go quite as planned. That is all in the past. Now there is only the golden future. All it depends on is sauntering down to the newsagent, putting half a dozen crosses in the little white squares and Rudolf Valentino is your Uncle. (Rudolf who?) Winning the Lotto is a simple calculation. I made a mistake last week but this week is the week. I’ve followed the same routine since Lotto became the accepted method of becoming rich and fabulous. Steadfastly crossed the same set of numbers every week, always kissed the same part of the ticket before handing it in and always, always smiled at the first three people I saw after leaving the shop. This is a certain winner in the long run. Deviate in the slightest and you are doomed to remain winless forever. That’s the great thing about Monday. The certainty that this is the week when you get it all. There are also two episodes of Coronation Street.
Tuesday, on the other hand, is a bit of a downer. Gym day. I make it a rule that nothing interrupts my day of agony. Unless something really important turns up. Someone invites me for lunch or my Granddaughter is on her school holidays. Sometimes I am forced to give the gym a miss because my next door neighbour’s cat needs feeding or it might be the day for the window cleaner to drop by. Only important things such as these will stop me turning up to see my personal trainer. Well he’s not exactly ‘personal’. Every other old biddy who deposits her sweat there likes to think he is her personal trainer but I have the satisfaction of knowing that he is mine.
Ex-SAS he tells me. Dwain. It’s wonderful how many ex-SAS men you meet. You can tell them instantly if you have the eye. Short, slightly curly hair, streaked by what is obviously genuine sunshine, a wonderfully dark orange hue to the pecs which have been developed on Her Maj’s service, small bums and a white flashing smile which tells you that your secrets are save with them. And the rest of the staff and their friends, of course. It is the hands that give the genuine, knife at the throat ex-SAS bloke, away. Firm and manipulative and instinctively able to sort out just which muscle you need caressing. Then it is a quick splash in the pool, a cup of tea and muffin on the terrace, home and the rest of the day to wonder at the boost the session has given to your sense of well-being.
And then it’s Wednesday. Half way through the week and the day for doing something to try and boost the purse. Over the last five years or so I have developed an anathema to London. At one time you couldn’t keep me away. I made sure that I had appointments with someone or other who was going to do something special which would result in my making a film or writing, acting in or producing a television series. At one time I had 54 projects on the go. Each project needed nurturing and cajoling and introducing to the men and women with the juice. Off course there was a downside to this. It was amazing how many times I’ve turned up bright and eager at an audition to find that the bloke doing the casting just wanted to meet a vampire or used it as a means of satisfying his sex lust. I’m not complaining – the game’s the thing.
When it turns out well it is the ultimate satisfaction. There’s nothing like the thrill of getting a producer to say he is interested in a production you are proposing. Of course, someone saying they are interested in something you have to offer and actually taking it are definitely two foals from different stallions. That’s why I loved it when I had my own touring company. It was all down to me.
Now my ducking and diving is generally confined to Wednesday. If I’m feeling up to it and have a latish appointment in town I might even indulge myself. If there is a film I want to see at BAFTA I drop in there for a quick bite and gossip and a loll in the wonderfully comfortable seats they have in the auditorium.
This is obviously just the preamble to becoming fabulously rich and raunchy. By the time the curtain has come down and I’m back in my humble flat it is obvious that I have made a slight miscalculation and the Great Lotto Day will be Saturday.
After the previous strenuous day and the unpleasantness of having miscalculated the Big Day I have a bit of a lie in on Thursday. It’s the day my lady who does comes in and shuffles the dust around. She’s Polish and doesn’t speak a word of English. I’m Polish and don’t speak a word of Polish. So we converse in Russian – which means that neither of us understands what the other is saying but it sounds more intriguing.
While Maria brings back a bit of dignity to my living arrangements I wobble into the village and, when the weather is kind, sit outside the cafe and accost people as they pass. I’m sure a lot of them only stop for a chat because they think I’m a bit fey. Probably right but I quite enjoy it. I worry a lot on Thursday about the way time is passing me by. Which usually means that I make a determined attempt to clean up my office. This is an ongoing operation which never seems to get any closer to the target I have set for myself. I want everything organised. Stuff I have written in files and clearly marked where it has been sent and who has rejected it. Letters from potential employers either reshuffled or answered. Newspaper articles I have cut out and earmarked for future reading, annotated and put in the appropriate file, old magazines, letters and catalogues promising fascinating and mysterious presents if only I buy something, relegated to the bin and the computer defragged. Whatever that means. It’s also the day for the big assault on the telephone. An effort to chase up money owed and a reason to explain why the cheque is in the post. I think Thursday is probably the dull day of the week.
When I was a little girl Friday was the target day. It was the day that school was just an inconvenience to be got through so that the weekend would open up and all sorts of exciting things could happen. Now Friday is the crunch day of the week. The day I worry about all things I haven’t done which I had promised myself I would do at the beginning of the week. I sometimes have a good, old fashioned panic on Friday. Another week older and deeper in debt sort of day. A day when I very often apply myself to that dreaded implement of torture – the computer. Follow up the telephone calls of earlier in the week with letters. It is also the day when I have to get out of the way my writing commitments. It’s a funny thing about writing. Deadlines are like buses, nothing for weeks and then they turn up as a choir. I always intend to get ahead of myself but inevitably leave it to the last possible moment. And it always seems to be Friday! I’m not quite sure how this happens. I’m aware of the rest of the week. The days pass and are done. But Friday always seems to be with us.
Another day for the disorganised is Saturday. It is the day of Promises. The day you ask friends to dinner or promise to go out. When you make the date it is way in the future, something you can leave to sort itself out. Then Friday stamps all over you and Saturday is there. The worst possible day to have to go shopping or book a table in a restaurant. Every other Saturday during the Summer there is practice for the Grand Prix on television at just about the time you should be raiding Asda. In the winter the sport clogging up the day is Rugby Union – with the same result! By the time you make it to the shops you are running late. And there is nothing like running late to ruin a good dinner.
Saturday is also the day when I am happy to accept invitations to things. I’m not sure why. It just seems a good day for an outing. For instance, this week, Saturday 9th August, I have been invited down to Purfleet in Essex for the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Airforce Bomber Command. There will be pilots who flew during WW2. Even one who was a member of the dashing Dambusters team, S/Ldr. Tom Bennett. I’m potty about all forms of aviation but my particular favourites are the Spitfire and the Avro Lancaster. I can’t wait to be sitting down with all those old heroes and telling them of my adventures in the little Cherokee Arrow my husband used to have. I’m sure they will be breathless with excitement. I wont tell them that by the time I arrive home that night I will be the possessor of a fortune that a Sheikh would envy.
I love Sundays. Always have – always will. Another day for a lie in. But this is only compensation for the weekly disappointment of a slight miscalculation which has left me still anchored to the begging bowl and the dog of doubtful parentage. And, of course, the Alsatian on a piece of sisal. In the Summer there is usually someone having a barbecue where you can gate crash. Failing that, if the weather’s fine, there is always the Golf Club. Not to do anything strenuous like whacking the ball into the heather. Sunday, in the Summer, is the time when the Chef turns Gaucho and burns food on the barbecue just like everybody else.
It is also the day for visiting friends and relatives. That’s if you have worked it right. If not it is the day when you spend your day being maid servant to the aforesaid relatives and friends. And then there is the Television. TV was made for Sundays. Sunday evening at least. Having gnawed your way through an underdone chicken leg and risked a impacted molar on a charcoaled steak washed down with half a bottle or so of suspect plonk, Sunday evening is for stretching out and reasserting your believe that the apartment, the mansion, the boat and the plane will be yours – next week.
And if that sounds depressing you should try living it.
Ingrid Pitt writes every Tuesday at Den of Geek; you can read her last column here.