After spending what seems like weeks moving house we finally have a free weekend; well in theory at least.

I had approached this minor miracle in our social life with a certain amount of anticipation until my wife uttered the “P” word in reference to it.

I am not sure if this happens in other households but in mine it seems an all too frequent occurrence and so I have come to dislike the word “pottering”.

I dared to ask my wife for a definition so that I could attempt to gain back some control of my promised free weekend.

Apparently, by the list she reeled off, it consists of doing the things around the house that have built up over time.

Correct me if I am wrong but that just sounds like work and it seems to be at odds with the very notion of having a relaxing weekend.

I mean, anything that has the potential to produce a list or require the use of a screwdriver must be categorised as graft in my book.

My wife, however, approaches this possibility with an undue amount of glee; it seems that she relishes the opportunity of pottering.

I tried to tie her down to a time frame for the proposed time that we should potter on Saturday and she gave non-committal answers like ‘We shall see’ and ‘It depends’.

Needless to say I don’t feel comforted by this; I could probably take it for a couple of hours but after that it would just become a chore.

I dared to ask whether I needed to clock in to planet pottering before we start but my words were lost on Mrs M who had set off to the basement with a dustpan and a giant sized list of her favourite jobs.

It seems right to me that if I am going to be forced to engage in work, by any other name, then I need to have the same conditions as with my weekly employment.

Health & Safety; I am sure that I need ladder training before attempting do anything above head height. I know that I need knife training before opening all the boxes of stuff left around after the house move. Surely I need manual handling training before I move any object over 10kg.

I asked my bride whether we should wait until I had attended all said courses and the documentation was completed but she wasn’t interested in my plea.

She did, however, offer me a bottle of red and lunch at my favourite Portuguese restaurant if I agree to take part in her plans.

‘And if I don’t?’ I asked tentatively.

‘You will get your pottering P45’ she replied ‘and the promised wine and griddled chicken will be removed from your wage packet’.

As an employer Mrs M knows how to deal; a life of pottering it is. I wonder how many days holiday I get a year!