Monday, 7 December 2009

Drawing up the calendar

is something I dislike doing. It has to be done.

I need to explain. When my parents retired they naturally ceased to keep the large diaries provided by the Education Department. When they had both retired they tried to keep separate diaries for appointments, meetings, reminders of birthdays etc. Naturally this did not work. My aunt found them a wall calendar. It might have worked but there was nowhere to hang it.
I came home from university at the end of that year and discovered my mother was busy with a large sheet of coloured cardboard, pencil, pen, my father's long steel rule and one of those little calendars you get from businesses of all sorts. She was drawing up a calendar for the following year. It was designed to fit on the side of a cupboard adjacent to the kitchen bench.
My mother was perfectly competent at this sort of thing. Her 'infant-school' teacher printing was neat and legible. All the birthdays and other regular events would be quickly and neatly slotted in. Everyone knew where everyone was supposed to be at a glance. All people had to do was remember to (a) add things as necessary and (b) look at it.
When my mother died and I had to return home to look after my father I continued to draw up the calendar. I solved the problem of almost illegible paw prints by printing off certain things and pasting them on to the new year's sheet of cardboard. We add reminders of things like the date the council rates are due too these days. I have to take more responsibility for looking at it than Dad these days. He is not terribly interested in remembering dates of birthdays etc. Reminded of these things he is more than happy to provide generous presents and congratulations but he has never been one to remember how old any of us are. Perhaps that is just as well.
At the time I draw the calendar up I look at it and think, "Ah, nice and empty. Perhaps there will be time to achieve something this coming year." Gradually it fills up. By the end of the year there is always something in almost every space. There is less than there was but there is enough. It suggests my father is busy and still able to enjoy life. It is why I will draw up another calendar.


Adelaide Dupont said...

And this is where (new) technology can help you.

Google Calendar, for instance, takes about four calendars at once.

Cloud computing has many similar features.

Love your Dad and his approach to birthdays.

"Remember, it's not the years in the life but the life in the years".

catdownunder said...

I intended to start today but, after a visit to the Post Office (where I forgot to get the stamps for the overseas cards) and making a very large quantity of shortbread in between my day job I have not yet found time to start. Tonight perhaps?

Rachel Fenton said...

You've got a few weeks yet before this year runs out!

You do some very time consuming lovely things, Cat. I have forgotten to do so many things this year. Maybe next year...

catdownunder said...

I still have the sequel of the sequel to finish before Christmas!

Holly said...

And the neat thing about your calendar is that you have a record of what happened to the year.

Even if you buy one, you are not held hostage to electricity or access to computers.

I like "real calendars"