There’s an old EastEnd saying that both my grandmothers often uttered in exasperation if any of us kids could not sit still:

‘Your arse is making buttons’.

Fast forward 50 years, and Sam’s arse is making buttons.  He’s locked-down and can’t go out.  Usually every weekend is taken up visiting family or friends or going to the van, but for the past 5 weekends he’s been confined to barracks.

This is not good for Sam.  He needs something to do, or he crawls the walls.  During the week he works at home from 07:30 to 17:00, and so is occupied. The trouble comes at weekends…

Over Easter he was fully occupied painting the outside of the house.  Last weekend he cut all the hedges, but on Friday evening another weekend loomed with nowhere to go.  He likes to be productive, and so he found himself another job.  He decided to climb up on the roof and scrape off all the moss.


This is quite a long job and may take a few weekends.  Peace will reign while he happily scrapes away.  However, we’re rapidly running out of jobs that need doing.  When he’s done this one he’ll be wandering around like a lost soul, looking for something to do.  He’s not one for sitting and reading, although he does like his motorbike magazines.  If I’m not writing we’ll go cycling or walking, or maybe we’ll sit in the garden and chat over a cup of tea.

I can usually think up things for him to do, but when he retires in about 8 years’ time I will definitely have to get my thinking cap on.  If he digs up the back garden and makes a vegetable patch, it won’t keep him occupied for very long, and he’ll start wandering about.  I’d suggest a dog for him to walk, but I know he doesn’t like them.  Hmm… unless arthritis sets in (which doesn’t look likely at the moment), we’re going to have a problem on our hands!

Poor old Sam.  He does have a motorbike, so perhaps he’ll go on some ride-outs.  On another tack he’d do well setting up a little domestic appliance repair business, as he can mend most things that go wrong.  He says all he wants to do when he retires is sit on the decking at the van, but I know it won’t be long before …

…his arse is making buttons.