Before we moved in some 2 years ago I thought that life in a retirement home would be smooth and seamless. No major speed bumps and few potholes to contend with. It’s not like that at all. Each day comes along with its own problems.

Take last Thursday, for instance. I woke with a feeling of guilt – I hadn’t posted a blog for a couple of weeks, the editor was probably sitting with her hand on the phone, about to call and fire me. I rushed through the shower, by-passed the shave but lingered over the coffee while I wrote a new blog article in my mind.

In the study, I cranked up the computer and leaned back while it coughed and gagged its way through its start-up routine. At that moment my eye caught sight of the painting I am working on and I noticed that the main character’s eyes are too close together, giving him a village-idiot look. Decision required – fix it or not? I reached for a brush – there are about 30 lying all over the study table – dabbed it in a glob of yesterday’s paint and started. Moving eyes is no small matter. They are followed closely by eyebrows, wrinkles, shadows and other accessories.

As I threw the brush back into the bottle of grey-brown-green water that stands permanently on the desk, I sneaked a look at his face again. Darn, look at that long upper lip. It’s going to mean a huge shadow under his nose. Decision required – fix it or not? I picked up another brush and carefully began to move his mouth up a fraction. Halfway through the exercise I felt I needed a cup of tea to steady my hand. That’s the whisky we drank the evening before when we celebrated the birthday of the lady on the 5th floor, I reasoned. No more drinking if I’m painting the next morning. I finally repaired the lips, added back the two lines dropping from the corners of his mouth – this is a retirement home so we all have those – fixed the shadow and dropped the brush into the water.

Back to my blog. It is now 12:30. I think I have to add more grey hairs around the temples. The blog? It’s too late now, I’ve missed the early morning edition, the midday has just hit the streets and no one reads papers in the afternoon. I’ll attend to that blog tomorrow. Promise.