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Torfaen Tales

Borrowed Time

Ah, childhood, when time was immaterial. Particularly during the long summer school holidays, when the days were endless and flowed into one another. Long days spent mostly at the beach.

The older I get the less time I seem to have. There just seems to be so much to do. When I get up in the morning I get on with a few household chores, but time just slips away. You know how it is. I’m hanging out the washing, and I notice a few weeds have sprung up in the garden. Next thing I know, I’ve been out there for half an hour. Then there’s the time I spend cleaning our two rabbit hutches. Not that the rabbits appreciate my efforts, for they soon have their quarters messed up again. Back in the house, I put something back on a shelf, and notice it’s looking a bit dusty. Another half hour to clear the shelves and dust thoroughly before putting everything back in its place. Then I notice it’s time I was off to work. I run around like a headless chicken changing clothes and making sure I have what I need, especially keys, before shutting the door behind me and hurrying off down the street.

Then after work a bit of shopping. Just a few essentials, or maybe I need to pay a bill. Bump into someone I know in the street and stop for a bit of a chat. More time slipping away.

Back at home, perhaps a bit of DIY. Another coat of paint on a wall. So much still to do before the house is as I want it. Television on in the background to keep me entertained, but I pause now and then to watch more closely. The telephone rings. At least I can chat while I paint. The front door opens, and the dog is home. (No, he doesn’t have his own key.) Pause to feed the dog and make a fuss of him. Next thing I know he’s got paint all over his tail and I need to wash that off before it dries. Painting is abandoned for the day, as the man of the house has by this time returned home from work.

Next task, preparations for the evening meal. Peeling, chopping, simmering. It all takes time. Far more time than it takes to eat the end result. Thankfully my partner washes the dishes and makes me a cup of tea. Watch a bit of television, then time for bed.

Where do the days go? Where do the weeks go? So many things I want to achieve: finish the novel I’m writing, put shelves up in the shed, spend more quality time with my partner, board out the attic, join an exercise class, clear out a load of drawers and cupboards, take Welsh lessons, paint watercolours …the list is endless.

I wish I could borrow time from people who need it less. Children who are bored on rainy days. Elderly people with time hanging on their hands. In these days of microchips and the internet such a thing should be possible. Perhaps a Time Bank could work like a register of organ donors. How wonderful it would be to somehow stretch the days, cram a bit more in. But would I fill my new lease of life with the right things, or would I still be scrubbing the floor or attacking a Euro-mountain of ironing?

By Karenne Griffin

Last Modified on: 05-11-2015

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Family of Blaenafon and Family of Miners

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