|King's Lynn, August 2014|
Somehow it has turned out that the bulk of the work so far has fallen to me instead of Lola II. This is probably only fair, since she didn't have any say in the volunteering process. So off I went, getting people to commit to joining in, finding properties to house 21 people, discovering that the level of enthusiasm meant that we needed a bigger place, collating preferences for four different properties, and at last I hope we have reached a consensus on a suitable house for us. Now my fingers are crossed that it is still available, although we do have a backup option.
That took up quite a bit of time and headspace this week, alongside the usual badminton and work. So my outstanding jobs that are far less attractive (buying holiday insurance, breakdown cover, changing utility supplier, and - worst of all - clearing moss and mud off the hall roof and gutter) have been neglected, as they are likely to continue to be neglected until I have no choice but to knuckle down. The holiday insurance will probably be first, given that the date of the holiday is set and not far off now.
And on that very subject, I took myself off to the Snowdome to put in an hour's practice, so that my first turns on Italian snow are made with some confidence. It had to be at a weekend, so I thought I'd get in early on Sunday morning hoping to start before the main rush of the day, but no such luck, it was teeming. Quite a few were in groups being taught, so they weren't getting in the way too much, but no full speed zipping down the slope. It was still worth it, even though just for an hour on a tiny slope full of beginners. I came home buzzing with excitement and anticipation for my holiday, which is as it should be.
This holiday activity inspired me to consider what other plans I might make for the coming year, and I have two or three more ideas. One slight difficulty is that the lumbering hulk of bureaucracy that is the NHS manages annual leave for its staff through an electronic interface which deals in hours - in the current year, my allocation was around 273 hours, which includes Bank Holidays. I cannot assume next year will be the same because a) you get a different allocation when you work part time compared with full time, pro rata (last year I worked 6 months on 27 hours a week, and 6 months full time) and b) I have now completed 5 years service with the NHS, which entitles me to a few more days, and I can't remember exactly how many.
So now I have to a) find out how many hours I should get next year b) find out how many of these are taken up by Bank Holidays c) convert the remaining hours to days and thus determine what I can plan for. My current thinking is that it shouldn't make any difference about the part-time vs full-time working, because although my leave hours are reduced because of part time working, I will also need to take fewer hours as annual leave. It's complicated, but it's rather delightful to be considering some lovely trips over the next 12 months at this darkest, coldest time of year.