If you’d told me a week ago my new TV obsession would be a mini-series about the game of chess, I’d have laughed.
But obsessed I became by Netflix’s new offering The Queen’s Gambit.
The drama follows the tale of a young girl who discovers the game in her orphanage basement – and rises into a young woman who plays the best opponents in the world.
Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, it’s currently ranked most-watched in the UK and it is sheer escapism – a world few if any of us can imagine.
And is that not what we all need right now? Something to take us out of our real worlds which can seem humdrum, restrictive and scary.
Alas, there is only one series of seven episodes and they were devoured over three nights after the kids went to bed.
So I awoke on Monday (at 5.30am with a small child whispering into my ear that he was hungry) bleary-eyed having stayed up too late to watch the finale, with a to-do list as long as my leg.
Usually, like us all, I chip away at the chores each day.
Now, with less filming over various lockdowns, I’ve had more time to get on top of everything and yet somehow it’s got on top of me.
Ironing, emails, birthday presents/school photos/bits of uniform to order, deadlines fast approaching . . . and in some cases long gone. I’ve just (and I’m telling you this because I think a lot of us might be in the same shoogly boat) lost my motivation to “do”.
So rather than sit down to email/clean/order/iron, I realised I had Strictly Come Dancing results AND the first episode of I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here recorded – and I watched them both. Then I sat in front of my laptop and braced myself to do the emails. I got a bit anxious, made a cup of tea into which I dunked seven digestives.
All these social media posts showing everyone “doing” things – I bet they don’t have a to-do list that wakes them in the dead of night.
Or maybe they do. Maybe they post pictures instead of paying the bills and making packed lunches.
What we all need is a good old party with pals, or a week on Crete – or even in Crieff.
But for now, I’ve got what looks like 609 shirts to iron. See you on the other side.
Oh, and if you’ve got Netflix, do give The Queen’s Gambit a go.