Ideas that add up #6

Ideas that add up #6

Abdullah, their secretary or munshi, was astounded by the constant activity. He marvelled at how Stamford and Olivia Raffles did not, like normal people, remain at rest until something came along that had to be done. They finished one apparently self-imposed task and immediately turned to another, and with massive consequences.

Review of Raffles and the Golden Opportunity in The Economist, November 10th 2012.

Not for the first time I’ve set myself the goal of achieving a Raffles-like state of constant activity. Getting up early, packing in a quantity of non-leisure reading, fixed hours for writing, time too for walking and contemplation. This alongside the daily routines of school runs, supermarket orders, household paperwork, the kitchen coalface, playdates, laundry bath and bedtimes. Plus a cushion of time for leisure reading or TV. And keeping in touch with people I care about. A mixture of self-imposed tasks and the somethings that simply have to be done.

But every day before the winter dawn, when the alarm clock pee-pee-pee-peeps, it’s Abdullah – the “normal people” in me – who briefly heaves himself from under the duvet and silences the thing for another 24-hours.

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