Sundays are rectangular, and a soft golden colour. Mondays have square edges, and are pale blue. Tuesdays are slim and turquoise. Wednesdays are wide, and sometimes orange. A week looks, from the side, like an oval, flattened top and bottom, but curving and plunging in three dimensions, like a length of convoluted swimming-pool pipe, joined end to end.
So how do I keep track? I keep appointments in my mind, placing them, in order, on the oval hosepipe. Not a foolproof method, I know, so my backup is to jot every appointment, note, date and phone number on a Post-It Note. My desk, keyboard and PC monitor are confettied with Post-It Notes. All very well, until a gust of wind blows through my study doors and... well, you get the picture.
So here's my epiphany: I made a pencil drawing of a week, as I've always seen it in my mind. It's not an accurate representation of how I see a week in three dimensions - the Tuesday is the wrong shape, Friday's roof is too high, and there are no colours - but it's good enough for me. I printed out 30 copies of this, filled in the dates, clamped them together with bulldog clips, and came up with a makeshift diary that works for me. The centre of the oval is filled in with my tasks for the week, and appointments and notes are marked with highlighter pens and tiny sticky paper arrows. For the first time in five years, I'm able to make sense of the flow of time.
And I promise you I'll be there to meet you next Thursday (pale green, and sometimes yellow, with a slightly astringent taste) at nine-fifteen on the dot .