|Brixham, August 2012|
This year, and last year, I was the nominated family member to produce the family calendar. This means collecting photos and uploading them and inserting them into the online calendar template and then ordering the resulting calendar for four households. It's quite a lot of work. This year, I thought "I have some pictures left over - why don't I start next year's calendar straight away?" Of course, I haven't.
The car is a filthy mess, and with the occasional early morning horizontal sunshine, I need to clean the windscreen properly on the inside. A job that will take, maximum, 15 minutes. I can't even remember how long I've been meaning to do this. And the interior needs hoovering, but that hardly features on the list.
I stupidly volunteered to be the Secretary of the Monday badminton club, where the only real duty is to get the members of the club registered with Badminton England in October. I finally managed to get it done last week, only to have them come back with an additional job because I'd registered the two under-18's that we have under the wrong code (they are junior club members, not members of a junior club. Doh). I'm not going to predict when that correction will be done.
Thankfully, things that have immovable deadlines tend to get done, like job applications and cleaning when we have visitors. It helps that we have very few visitors. But even things that you might imagine having immovable deadlines don't get done, like Christmas greetings. I would like to wish all who know me a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, because you probably won't be getting cards this year. Postage is extortionate nowadays, anyway.
Things I do spend my time on include watching films with Mr A on the sofa. Last weekend we watched two: The Band Wagon (with Fred Astaire) and Marathon Man (with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Oliver). Also: reading books, as you will know, and reading the magazines that come from my various subscriptions to professional, charitable and academic institutions. Oh yes, I spend quite a bit of time reading a variety of blogs, and dealing with email. But we all do that, don't we?
At work, we are gearing up for Christmas, with the cardiac wards well ahead of any others in getting their decorations out of storage. There is now tinsel a-plenty in the Dietetic office, shedding shiny strands all over carpets and clothing. We have the office party on Saturday with dinner and dancing, and then a special lunch the following week in honour of two of us who are leaving: one to have a baby, and me.
I have been juggling all these employment options for what seems like months, although looking back it has only been about six weeks. The interview for the nearest job was this morning, and if I had been successful, I might not have had to leave my current job, because there was a possibility of doing both old and new jobs part time. But they were admirably quick in feeding back that I wasn't successful. With near-perfect timing, the HR department from the first job contacted me yesterday to say that all the pre-employment checks had been done and do I still want the job? So I will be contacting them again tomorrow to let them know that I do. So the lunch in honour of two of us who are leaving can actually celebrate two of us leaving, rather than just one.
There has been talk of a buffet lunch in the office as well, and a 'Secret Santa' event where gifts for no more than £5 are bought and randomly allocated among us. There has been some confusion over these ideas, partly because we are running out of dates to hold events. I have, unusually, managed to purchase a Secret Santa gift, but now am slightly concerned that it will not be distributed as planned. The only other time I agreed to take part in a Secret Santa event was when I was working in Birmingham, and I spent a very unhappy lunchtime in shops in the city centre, being jostled by other shoppers, wholly unable to find anything suitable, and getting crosser by the minute.
Work on the wards continues as usual, with the added lottery of odd wards being closed due to norovirus. So far none of my wards have succumbed, but I expect it will happen before the end of the winter. I am quite looking forward to seeing how Christmas is celebrated in a large hospital, especially as I am led to believe that as many patients as possible are turfed out and admissions tend to be few, so there may not be all that much to do. Of course people will continue to have accidents and emergencies, but if we're lucky, not too many will involve malnutrition.