So what I've done is to postpone last week's new thing until next week. Don't worry, this is allowed here in Cathedral Close. We call it transferring. It goes on all the time. This week, for example, saw George, Martyr, Patron of England celebrated on 2nd May, transferred from Holy Saturday. We then had Mark the Evangelist on May 3rd, transferred from Easter Monday, followed the next day by by Philip and James, Apostles, transferred from Low Sunday. The late date of Easter has turned this into the transfer season. If tranferring things is OK with the precentor, it's OK with me.
You may be a bit surprised that I've nominated something so mundane as my new thing. But oddly enough, it isn't mundane to me. It's right in that zone of simple tasks I find oddly daunting. In that category fall such things as filling in forms, traveling, phoning people I don't know, and asking for directions. This shames me a bit. I'm supposed to be a grown-up, after all. I can't locate the exact cause of the problem. No, that's a lie--I can. It's my tendency to catastrophise. Never ask a writer 'What's the worst that can happen?'
So when it comes to car washes, the worst that can happen--as anyone who's watched James Bond knows--is that half way through the cycle, Grace Jones gets into the back seat and kills you. Alternatively--as any toddler knows--the whirly blue brushes go rogue and crush the car flat as a postage stamp as you scream and pound helplessly on the suddenly unopenable window.
Obviously, I know neither of these things is likely to happen. (Although it's not entirely implausible that I might one day have Grace Jones in my car. A Grace Jones, anyway. That's my big sister's name these days. She is, however, unlikely to kill me. Mild exasperation is more her style.) No, the thing I really fear is making a fool of myself. Bungling about, stalling, with a queue of impatient drivers behind me waiting to use the car wash. Leaning on their horns, pounding their steering wheels. 'Come on love! Not exactly rocket science, is it?'
For some reason I seldom ask myself 'What's the best that can happen?' That I sail through the car wash with flying colours, and am presented with a car wash diploma. By George Clooney. Who adds in passing how lovely I'm looking. And that this diploma qualifies me to win the Booker Prize. And has happily brought about World Peace (in case I'm coming across as a bit shallow).
I'll let you know which of these scenarios turned out to be the most accurate.