Monthly Archives: August 2009



Yesterday morning there was a knock on the door as I was getting out of the shower. I hurried to cover myself and answer it, thinking it might be a parcel delivery. It was the man from the workshop below our flat, informing us that our flat is leaking water through his ceiling. I told the landlady, who sent her husband round to have a look, which he did, said the bath panelling needed to be taken off to investigate, and that he’d be in touch. A bit later a text message from the landlady said that they – her husband and father – would be able to come on Monday. I asked about using the shower and washing machine in the meantime, and she replied just to use them.

Does that strike anyone else as quite bad? That the poor guy downstairs just has to continue to be rained on for a couple of days because she wasn’t willing to call out a plumber?

I’ve only done essentials of laundry, and we are using basins in the bath to collect the shower water and tip it, as well as waste kitchen water, down the toilet. (I’m assuming that goes in a different direction to the rest) Obviously some water is still going down the drain though, and I feel bad at the thought of it going through his ceiling. But it’s not my fault.

As an aside, it’s interesting to note just how much water is actually used in things like washing food (veg, rice, lentils etc), washing and rinsing dishes, and showers. A lot more than I would have thought.


Interesting articles


Quotes from

Perfectionists, research shows, can become easily discouraged by failing to meet impossibly high standards, making them reluctant to take on new challenges or even complete agreed-upon tasks.

Vulnerable to a loss of self-esteem and painful mood swings after any setback, such people apply themselves inconsistently and ultimately accomplish less because of their perfectionism.

Robert Abatecola, 42, spent five years researching Victorian plastering techniques before he got around to repairing the cracked walls in his San Jose, Calif., home because he wanted to be sure to preserve the 1896 Queen Anne–style house’s historical authenticity.

OCD much? I can relate, there are certain things I can’t let myself do because I am never sure enough!

Some people are persnickety about the neatness of their home…

The only reason I quoted this is the word “persnickety”. WTF?! Is that a word? I love it!

Highly perfectionistic students did fine when the pressure was low. But when told that their work would be evaluated and compared with that of other people, they rated the task as more important and felt worse about it than nonperfectionists did. What is more, the perfectionists’ writing turned out to be inferior in general—probably because perfectionists, fearing criticism, avoid opportunities to get editing feedback and consequently do not develop their skills, the authors speculated.

Quotes from

Procrastination can also stem from anxiety, an offshoot of neuroticism. Procrastinators postpone getting started because of a fear of failure (I am so worried that I will bungle this assignment), the fear of ultimately making a mistake (I need to make sure the outcome will be perfect), and the fear of success (If I do well, people will expect more of me all the time. Therefore, I’ll put the assignment off until the last minute, do it poorly, and people won’t expect so much of me).

Two key elements in the urge to let projects slide are an uneasy feeling about an activity and a desire to avoid that discomfort. “A procrastinator says, ‘I feel lousy about a task,’” Pychyl explains, “and thus walks away to feel better.”

…procrastinators who formed implementation intentions were nearly eight times as likely to follow through on a commitment than were those who did not create them. “You have to make a specific commitment to a time and place at which to act beforehand,” Owens says. “That will make you more likely to follow through.”