If you have two hundred cakes to prepare, do you bake, slice, fill and decorate each one from start to finish, one at time; or do you separate the process into several “passes”, to borrow a term from computer processing, and do all the baking first, then all the filling, then all the decorating? The advantage of the first approach is that if you don’t get all two hundred cakes done in the allotted time you do at least have some completed cakes to offer, whereas with the second approach you may very well be left with a hundred cakes that have no filling and no icing and a hundred that only have filling. However, it’s fair to say that if you’re going to gain the ability to do a process properly you really need to focus at least for a time on just that one process. And then there is the need to repeat it if the quality is going to become habitual. Otherwise you will have to revisit how to do the process every time you need to do it. It is this absence of habituation which means that people who only turn their computers on once a week have to consult that carefully filed scrap of paper every time they want to email a picture or log into online banking.
I will emerge from the wardrobe and say that I am a committed multiple pass person. This commitment comes not really from explicit choice but from the realisation that it’s how I work best. I have the knowledge that at least one process is done properly, even if the others are never done. Preferably they will be done. This is how I have lived my life, hating it when I feel I have finished a job but bodged it and legged it. Who wants to buy a new kitchen from Bodgit and Leggit? I most assuredly do not. This taps into the proverbial saying that if you want something done do it yourself.
Here, then, is my public apology to those of you who have been waiting for me to complete the remainder of a series of processes, in some cases for years. Soon, guys. In the meantime, check out how strong and hard that mortar still is. Cool.