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There are those – yes, you know who you are – who I know suspect I am on a lovely long layabout here, posing as a consultant, pretending to be busy, but actually with nothing more on my plate than a few pretzels, a glass of wine in my hand, while I survey the garden from a deck-chair on the patio.

Fact number one: if I had tried sitting out on the patio, this week, with or without wine or something stronger, I would have been found, when next my children or my helper or the meter reader happened to stop by, turned not to a pillar of salt but a veritable Snowman, with two black lumps of coal for eyes and a frozen grin with teeth that would shatter if you reached up, child-like, to see if they were real…

Fact number two: this has been a working Sunday – ahem – and I am mildly panic-stricken at the week that yawns before me, an unfathomable chasm of travel and work. Two days’ field research in Bloemfontein, a college-industry workshop in Cape Town, an all-day workshop with the Department of Higher Education and Training in Midrand on Friday and, along the way – let me see – a policy framework document to revise and circulate for Friday’s indaba, a colleague’s book chapter to review, a review and presentation to prepare for the Cape Town workshop – and then all the things I have had to push into next week, on my mind if not precisely on my schedule.

If you want to get things done, the saying goes, give them to a busy person. Merdre! I wish these clever dicks would stop coining clever phrases, and try doing an honest day’s work instead!

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