I have become convinced my wife believes Labour Weekend is for just that, labouring over all sorts of jobs.
Obviously I've tried to explain it's for a period of relaxation, like a reward for coming through the long, dark days of winter but she's having none of it.
Well that's not entirely true. Mrs P accepts a three-day break is something to be cherished . . . but only after all the jobs I've put off over winter are sorted.
Now I'd rather not waste an entire weekend labouring so I've gone hard on Saturday to get as much done as I can. I've sorted out my vege garden - which is actually more of a small space where I throw some seeds every now and then before praying to the Vege Gods for something to emerge, preferably big and impressive - and I've chopped down and chopped up a tree that was blocking my view. After that I stacked all the wood, mowed the lawn, did a bit of man vacuuming (I bet you didn't know you can do a whole house in 4 minutes 24 seconds flat) and I've taken the dog for a walk.
• Premium - Kevin Page: Dreaming of the great outdoors over lunch in the office
• Premium - Kevin Page: Breaking up is hard to do
• Premium - Kevin Page: The joys of being a grandparent
• Premium - Kevin Page: A coconut flavoured birthday cake please
I did that last task on my own. Mrs P basically ushered me out while grabbing the vacuum cleaner and muttering something like "if you want a job done properly then do it yourself". Sounds quite reasonable to me. Anyway.
So now I'm a bit tired and I'm walking the dog, just trying to round off the day before a certain much anticipated game of rugby and an equally much anticipated couple (or four) gin and tonics.
In fact I was so tired and determined to get through this last task I didn't watch where I was going and stepped slap bang into the middle of a pile of dog poo. I say dog, judging by the size of it there may be elephants loose near where I live. Regardless, I've stepped in it and it has to be cleaned off my shoe once I get home. Luckily I've got some time up my sleeve before I need to start drinking, er I mean watching, and I sit outside with a screwdriver picking the bits of ick out of the tread in my shoes.
I make it just in time, and sit down exhausted to watch the game. Eighty minutes or so later I'm miserable - along with millions of other Kiwis I'm sure _ and achey and stiff. Bed is a welcome relief.
Northland news in brief: Māori Language Awards, open gardens and new police officers
Naturally I emerge from my slumbers on the Sunday morning raring to go. Not. Stiffness has set in all over. It hurts to make Mrs P's cuppa in bed before I go to golf. Even golf is a struggle as tendons and muscles refuse to join the party. I give up dejected after nine holes and hobble to the car and the rest I am sure I can find at home.
Mrs P is nothing if not sympathetic. A nice lunch and an early afternoon lay down has me refreshed enough for another little stroll with George the Dog. Mrs P will even join me this time. We are met at our favourite spot by a friend who warns us of a marauding magpie in the vicinity. As Mrs P has been attacked by the said beasts in the past - obviously her pleasant demeanour and general hotness are a huge attractant - I grab a stick and wave it above my head as we meander through the danger zone.
As I walk and wave my weapon, my attention is not on my footing and, you guessed it, I tread in another pile of elephant poo. Mrs P is understanding . . . to a point. While she appreciated my chivalry I am made to sit outside on the front step back home with the screwdriver and repeat the ick removal process from the day before.
But she's not completely heartless. There's no rush apparently. The debris from my shoe can be cleaned off the pathway tomorrow if I like. Labour Weekend is a three day "holiday" after all.
Besides she thought up some other jobs she wants me to do then too.