Growing up I never realised this was a skill I needed to perfect, but it appears that a) there are more forms to fill in than I ever imagined possible and b) I am appalling at it.
I have never managed to complete a passport application on the first attempt. My children have very nearly missed half a dozen school trips because the paperwork never made it. Oh and then there was the flight I missed because I put the wrong name down for my ticket.
And now there's the NGS (National Gardens Scheme). I'm opening my garden this weekend for the second year running and probably being a little too relaxed about the whole affair. In fact, I only looked at my pack of information just over a week ago.
"Nice posters", I thought. "Really eye-catching", I thought. And then I noticed something in the bottom right hand corner. Three key words. "Plants. For. Sale."
I mean really!?
When in my form filling stupidity did I tick that box?
Still, the one benefit to so-often messing up is that I've become very skilled at getting myself out of trouble. So last weekend became the weekend I introduced my children to the glorious word of "potting on".
To be fair to me, I didn't force them into it, just enticed them with the idea that they could make a lot of money by finding as many self-sown young plants as possible in the garden and carefully lifting and replanting them into compost-filled plastic pots.
I might even have mentioned that the money would be going to the NGS rather than into their piggy banks, I really can't remember.
Anyway, two hours later we had 200 plants happily settling into their new homes and two children rather proud of their efforts.
So do come along at the weekend. We can now officially offer you the plant sale element - as well as kids' garden games on the lawn, tea and homemade cakes and, of course, the Great Sylvanian Hunt. Oh, and you might even be interested in seeing the garden (and the two others - the Old Vicarage and Old Farm Cottage - covered by the ticket price).