I’m not very good at stuff. I’m rubbish at housework and doing the garden. I have no interest in craft or baking. And I’m crap at it anyway.
My kids live on food from the freezer and microwave meals. Because they’re fussy and because we’re always busy, but, yes, also because I’m a rubbish cook.
I’m not a strategic thinker. Life’s too short – I’d rather get on with it than plan and ponder and see the bigger picture. And on the rare occasions when I do think strategically, I don’t even realise I’m doing it. Cos it’s just common sense, innit?
I get freaked out by Doing Stuff. Basic stuff. Like opening the bonnet of my car or unlocking a door. Don’t give me a new key or lock to deal with because it most definitely won’t work. It’s definitely broken. It’s definitely not just me….
Oh, maybe it is.
Let’s be honest, I really don’t have many talents.
I got a fold-up bike for my birthday. I love it, it’s given me a new lease of life. I’m not much of a driver. Actually, I’m a crap driver. Add that to the list.
So now on my days off if I just need to nip into town I take my bike instead. I love the freedom of it.
Rather than lock it up anywhere (those keys! what if they go wrong?), I take it into my husband’s office and he looks after it for me. He folds it down, then when I leave he unfolds it for me. It’s not because I can’t do it, you understand, it’s just because he’s quicker than me…
OK, I admit, if I decide to use it and I realise my 10 year old son has already gone to school without unfolding it for me, I panic slightly. What if I can’t manage it?!
Let’s remember this is a FOLD-UP BIKE. It is designed to fold easily. So why does it leave me in a cold sweat. Why can’t I do it?
‘You know what I think?’ says my husband when he gets home and sees my bike half folded with everything pointing the wrong way, ‘I think you’re never going to be able to fold that bike.’
‘I will! I’m getting better, I can nearly do it.’
‘You know what I think?’ he says, ‘I think you’re a one-trick pony.’
And if you’re reading this and getting all angry for me, then don’t. Because he’s right. I’m not good at stuff and he accepts that and helps me with things. My younger son helps me too.
‘So what is your trick?’ I hear you cry.
This. This is my trick.
Writing is a big part of my work as a press officer. I blog rather a lot (as you may have noticed) and I’m not too bad at it.
I am the biggest grammar geek I know. In an office full of ‘communications professionals’, most of whom are senior to me and paid more than me, I am the go-to girl for all those difficult grammar questions and proof-reading. I can spot a misplaced comma at 100 yards. My obsession with grammar is legendary and the source of much humour in school governors’ meetings – woe betide anyone who puts a capital letter or (shudder) an APOSTROPHE in the wrong place.
My one and only trick does have its uses at home. I help the kids with their homework and can answer their increasingly difficult questions. Part of loving writing is also loving reading and this has rubbed off on my children. By reading to them and with them I’ve shown them how exciting reading can be.
But it doesn’t get my bike folded, the cooker cleaned, the weeds pulled up or decent food on my kids’ plates.