Invent An International Something Day

Life Design Action: Invent an International *Something* Day.

Requires: you and the Thing

Does not require: excuses or stories of any kind.

We are now going to look at some facts about procrastination.


Fact One = We each have an internal load of Things that we should have done, found a home for, thrown away or completed, but instead we put it off and put it off again. Eventually we spend so much time thinking about the Thing that a kind of Internal Exasperation Explosion occurs. We eitehr DO IT or stuff the thing in a drawer, bang it shut and lean on the drawer. Then read a newspaper.

Eg: For many years I put off owning a dustpan and brush. Instead, each time I brushed the kitchen floor, I would drag a heavy hoover out of the cupboard and hoovered up crumbs. One day I woke up (literally) and bought myself a dustpan and brush. It cost me £1.49. I never looked back.

 Fact Two = Whatever ingenious place we may find to slip our Things, the fact remains that those Things are still there. They may be at the very bottom of the loft or drawer (due to many other Things being stuffed on top), but the reality is that the original Things remain. And they don’t just remain. They loom. Quiet yet sucky, draining our energies and filling up our internal drawer space without us even knowing about it.

The Things we avoid doing are insidious.

 Fact Three = Different humans have different Things that get stuffed in the Thing Drawer or Loft. Personally, I am pretty hot on bills, calls, emails, dust pans, utensils and socks. The Things that I just can not seem to get a handle on are those little slips of paper that are offered out of beautiful kindness, yet build up and weigh down on me like financial time bombs.

These things are called Vouchers.

Bloody. Vouchers.


Last Friday, Ads insistently suggested that I release some of the tension in my Thing Drawer. I think this is because my Thing Drawer is in the dresser above his Man Drawer and the Man Drawer kept jamming when he was looking for his Thing.

“Babe,” he said, “you’ve got all those things and you need to use them soon.”

“I know!” I replied. “You are right.”

You see – and I don’t know how this has happened – I’ve managed to build up Quite A Number Of Vouchers. Again. I now have …

A voucher for Waterstones – £33.00

Two cinema tickets to watch Les Miserables.

Dinner for two people in Lugleys, Newport

Skin Trade – £60.00 

Dinner, bed and breakfast at the Isle of Wight’s top restaurant and B&B – The Hamborough

Full body massage at Beauty Within

Voucher for Top Shop – £33.00

Voucher for H&M – £54.00

To be fair Ads co-owns some of the vouchers and as he doesn’t experience the same Voucher Spending Resistance as me, has been getting anxious about the vouchers on behalf of us both. He says they’ll expire. And he is right. I know they’ll expire. So this Friday we came up with a brilliant idea:

International Voucher Day

A day of glorious voucher spending, where adults and children all over the world unite in voucher spending unison.

So having now experienced my first ever International Voucher Day, here are a few little tips in case you decide to have one too.


 If you’re a man and co-own clothes shop vouchers with a woman, do not start chatting to the baker’s wife in the farmers market, allowing the vouchers to disappear into Skin Trade without you. By the time you have completed your chat, your half of the vouchers may have vanished. Which would be very unlucky.


If you are a woman and you have vouchers for a clothing shop you like, be wary. Vouchers create illusions of limitless purchase power. One top WILL lead to another, which will lead onto another, which will lead onto a gorgeous pair of ankle boots, which will lead onto a gorgeous little handbag with a blue tit on the front.

Bird Bag

Before you know it, the vouchers have not even touched the sides and your credit card will be smashed to smithereens. This may nark the co-owner of your vouchers at which point you may have to make peace by offering up your massage vouchers.


Do not try to stuff in too much voucher use at once. Sometimes, it is good to save a very special voucher (ie. Waterstones) until you are on your own and you can schmooze up and down the aisles as much as you like. Also, having used up a good chunk of your vouchers, there will be more space left in your Thing Drawer for a little one.


If you have been given a voucher that really doesn’t float your boat – eg. two people to watch Les Miserables – just give it to someone else. This is known as a Random Act Of Kindness. After all, this is International Voucher Day, so spread the love.


If you have a voucher for a v v v v expensive “restaurant with rooms” which entitles you to a room for the night, dinner (from a set menu) and breakfast, do not invite your own version of Naughty N and Spouser for the evening. As in TIP TWO, restaurant vouchers also give you the illusion of limitless purchasing power and mingled with a bottle of red wine can lead on to a bottle of v v v v v expensive champagne, throwing aside the set menu and having the taster menu, not really taking much notice by this point of any of the food, yet congratulating the chef in slurry voice on his incredible culinary talents, nearly agreeing to show everyone your tan lines from Morocco and then practically collapsing then laughing hysterically when the bill is presented.

And then … then … waking up the following morning and having to go and eat breakfast with the diners you were quite oblivious to the night before.


All in all, our voucher spending was very successful albeit slightly more expensive than it should have been. Since our interesting Voucher Day, myself and Ads have used our proactive energies (mingled with dumb-founded financial shock) to propel us into many other jobs. Since Friday, I have officially cleared out the shoe cupboard, the cupboard above the shoe cupboard, the cupboard above the washing machines, the cupboard under the stairs AND both sock drawers.

What is your Thing?

Have you overcome it?

If not, what could your International *Something* Day be?


2 thoughts on “Invent An International Something Day

  1. How about an International ‘How to get a Voucher” Day? Although, I don’t think I want any because, like you, a voucher just encourages me to spend more than the voucher which is the whole point of those tricky little pieces of paper. I wonder how an international forgive a debt day would work? Would it work? Probably not although some companies already operate schemes where you can put your purchase receipt in a raffle box ,and you may win the amount of your purchase in the raffle draw.

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