The mister and the lads got back from their Al Ain daytrip rather late last night, and because I still hadn’t finished my book, when the mister asked about my day, I said, somewhat despondently, ‘I must be the most unproductive person in the world,’ to which the mister replied, ‘but how do you know that everyone else is productive?’

It’s the kind of thing the mister says, and it sometimes cheers me up and sometimes gives me the screaming shits.

Anyway, the ensuing conversation reminded me of a lesson I have already learned, but seem to have forgotten. The lesson is: it’s no good having a to do list which reads ‘write book’. A list like that just leaves you feeling despondent and unproductive day after day after day.

So then, I spent an hour with a purple texta, making a list of the things I need to write in order to finish this draft. And today, I will work through one or two of those things and when the mister and the lads get back from the supermarket and their game of squash I will say, ‘I got a lot done today’.