Saturday, 24 December 2011

No more turkeys

Me and Kirsty posing with our festive antler headgear
It's just one of the facts of life that when there is lots to write about, there is no time to write. I have actually enjoyed the experience of 12 continuous days working between eight and fourteen hours a day, but I am certainly glad it is over.

I'm sitting up in bed with the laptop at the incredibly late hour of 'after nine o'clock', just because I can. I've gradually been getting through the 50-odd blog posts that have been accumulating in my reader - I came across the last one I wrote just yesterday. My online life is about to resume after its temporary suspension, because the turkeys are all sold. Or most of them, anyway.

The majority of my working time was spent creating print on paper. I got through three full reams of paper (re-using any waste sheets as scrap paper so virtually none was thrown away), filled three large arch lever files, and had to replace the inkjet printer/scanner/copier's black ink cartridge twice. It was cold for most of the time, very cold for some of the time, and both our washing machine and one of our two freezers at home broke down during this period (our TV-watching points will pay for both replacements). I also attended two dietetic interviews, both on the same day.

That was a long day, because after the two interviews I went back to work for another four hours. As usual, I didn't get either of the jobs (this blog post would have a very different tone if I had) but useful feedback again. It seems that I am getting better at producing the answers that interviewers want, and am still frustrated by the fact that this does not make me a better dietitian, just more likely to win the interview lottery. Feedback from one interview was that my presentation couldn't have been better, and from the other that my answer to the equality and diversity question was the best they had ever been given. If only both of those had been in the same interview.

Decorated Christmas tree looking a bit rubbish
And back to the turkeys. All the main trade orders and deliveries were over by 22 December, leaving a few stragglers and the main business of 23 December, which was supplying turkeys and other products (boneless/stuffed breasts, three bird roasts, smoked chicken/duck, hams, geese, capons) to private individuals who had placed single orders for collection. The unheated shed that had formerly been the production team tea-room was turned into a shop, with a slightly mangy Christmas tree, one or two limp strands of tinsel, a sales counter, a table with tea and coffee, mulled wine and mince pies, and pallets holding boxes or crates with the different product lines. I remained in this cold, dimly lit shed (not bright enough to power the solar panels on the pocket calculators) from 7.30 a.m. until 5 p.m. yesterday when Mr A came to take me away clutching our very own three bird roast and smoked duck breast for Christmas dinner.

The Boy has volunteered to cook our dinner tomorrow, and arrived on December 21st complete with broken laptop screen and sleep deprivation from a short stay with friends in Manchester. On his first night with us he slept for 17 hours, which means that Mr A's plan to decorate the house in a Christmassy manner has not taken place, combined with Mr A's realisation that Christmas trees don't half cost a lot of money and are really not worth it. Mr A has clearly been brainwashed by Family Lola.

[Note: Our front door has a big brass knocker, and a small insignificant button for the doorbell. Unfortunately the sound of the knocker is inaudible inside the house, and we have missed several calls and deliveries. Mr A recently put forward a number of solutions, including a small plaque drawing attention to the doorbell in preference to the knocker, but correctly guessed that the more practical Lola-approved solution would be to glue the knocker down to prevent it from being used. Actually, the true Lola Family answer would have been to remove the knocker altogether, but Mr A's aesthetic sensibilities and artistic nature precludes this eminently practical step.]

Today Mr A has been cleaning and tidying and I have done all the shopping and present-buying that I wasn't able to do before Christmas Eve. The fire is dancing in the fireplace, cards adorn every surface, presents are wrapped, The Boy is working in my office, Mr A is upstairs and I am sitting on the sofa with the laptop and a cup of tea. We are ready.

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