I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas. In fact, I would go as far as to say, I almost ‘hate‘ Christmas. I think it’s a combination of the cost, the ‘compulsory’ happiness (that’s expected), terrible television (repeat upon repeat) and the fact that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.
When I was a child, one of the most exciting parts of the day was opening the present (not presents) and wondering what you had been given. Hoping and praying that Mum and Dad had taken the hint and realised why that mail order catalogue had been left open at that particular page.
These days that expectation that had kept you from being a bit naughty has gone! Today, children have a list of things they want (not things they would like).
Saying that Christmas Day and Boxing Day were enjoyable days. The youngest was home from his care home for the week and was quite excited. He just loves opening parcels. Does not seem to care what is in the parcel, it’s the opening that matters. The eldest, his partner and our Granddaughter came too which made for a pleasant day. Boxing Day, saw my father-in-law come for lunch and another pleasant day ensued.
It went downhill from there!
Eldest and his partner both were suffering from a terrible cough and cold, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before me and K*** followed suit.
I started on Monday evening with a cough and by 10:00 the following day, I was taking a Covid19 test as I felt so bad. Thankfully it proved negative. It seemed to get worse. By the time to take the decorations down, I had decided to try and see my GP. Luckily, there was a slot that day and after a good examination, the doctor pronounced that I had some kind of virus. As my chest sounded clear and my blood pressure was normal (for me) there seemed to be no need for any antibiotics.
I should be back at work tomorrow but I’ve decided to ‘throw a sickie’. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not a difficult job, but it is heavy going. I doubt very much that the boss was pleased that I called, but my health is more important. this may just be the first step to me giving the job up.
The staff night out happened yesterday. It was a supposedly ‘Italian Christmas Special Menu‘ but it didn’t look too special to me. It seemed to be an attempt to popularise some menu items that they may not have been selling much. I didn’t rate the meal highly, but I suppose it could have been my choices. Starter was ‘Butterfly King Prawns‘ and they were a little bit on the tough side. I followed up with ‘Pollo Milanese‘. This was a breaded chicken breast served with a creamy mushroom sauce. I think the chicken was more than a little over-cooked as it was quite dry and didn’t taste any better than the local ‘Chicken & Chips’ shop. As for the ‘creamy’ mushroom sauce, it was more a ‘greasy’ mushroom sauce that was lacking in seasoning of any kind. But at least the dessert of Tirimasu was excellent.
Since I became an ‘OAP’ I have had a consessionary bus pass. I very rarely use it, but I thought it would give the perfect reason to leave the party early if I needed to. I have used it a couple of times when we have used the Park & Ride at York. It gives the holder a return journey for the price of a single journey, but yesterday it was free travel all day. By car, it takes 8 minutes, but by bus it’s more like 25 minutes, so it is understandable, why so many people drive everywhere. I have often considered using the bus for work. But the times are awkward. For me to get to work in time to start at 10:30, I would have to catch the 9:27 bus. Whereas if I drive, I don’t need to set off until 9:55.
We had are ‘family get together and present exchange‘ on Friday. It was another thing that I was dreading. The Americans were coming! K***’s brother married a Californian teacher and moved to America over 20 years ago. They keep coming back, with their daughter every few years to see us and it is usually quite pleasant. However. They are a loud bunch and their loudness seems to rub off on everyone else. It usually seems to end up with people trying to out do each other in the volume stakes.
After what seemed like an eternity (maybe a slight exaggeration) today has finally arrived. I am now officially retired. Well not quite! Today was the last day I was working. My last contracted is Monday, but as I had managed to build up enough ‘flexi time’, I was able to finish at 3:15pm today.
It seems to have been a long three weeks back at the main office. Even the days when I was quite busy dragged on. But now it’s over. How do I feel? I don’t know. I don’t really know how I feel yet. I thought it has sunk in, but I not sure if I have got my head around the idea that I have retired.
So back to today. It started as a normal day, except for the photos lifted from Facebook that seemed to be plastered around the office. Nothing was different at all. People were getting on with their work and I was busy tidying up the files on my laptop. Then it all started. The manager turned up at around 11:00 and presented me with the biggest cake I had ever seen.
She had told me that she had ordered cake(s) as a celebration, but nothing prepared me for this. She also gave me a bottle of Cava, as I had said I was not having a leaving party and a card also.
This was from her. It wasn’t a team thing. It was my managers way of thanking me for everything I had done. I have to admit, I was taken aback slightly, and if the truth were known, I got a little emotional, but successfully did not show it.
Then at 2pm came the official presentation. I got my official gift from the Council for such long service and with it was £30.00 pounds worth of Amazon vouchers from the staff. The manager gave the customary ‘things that people might not know’ speech and I responded with the customary feeble thank you. Then it was all over! Hugs and handshakes all round and I was on my way home. The only downside, was that a good friend from the other office thought I was finishing on Monday and has got a present for me. I was a little disappointed … no scratch that, I was a bit upset about it. I think I might have a drive down there on Monday or Tuesday and see him. I will have to think about it.