Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The fest and the feast.

So Christmas! I was off for the whole 2 weeks for the first time in I don't know how long. Went back to work Monday this week feeling not completely well, the 5 pounds I put on over Christmas having apparently settled en masse behind my ribcage where it gave me something that wasn't quite heartburn but definitely wasn't comfortable. Too much food and booze of course. It started even before I went off work, with the Christmas lunch on the Thursday.

We went to a pub that used to belong to Gordon Ramsey. Lovely building. Food ok but late. There were a couple of other teams from the same building eating there as well so plenty of table hopping once we'd eaten, catching up with people I hadn't had a chance to talk to in ages. By the time 11pm came round (10 hours after we'd walked in) the the bar staff had handed out Christmas carol sheets and three of us were drinking sambuca (I associate sambuca with Christmas. My family's version of Christmas pud being sambuca, coffee bean and lighted match).

Since the nice thing about being 40, I find, is I no longer worry about behaving like an adult, I set the sambuca alight with the flame from the candle on the table and tiny rolled up spills made of pages from my mini filofax (after all the year’s practically over, and I only really use the thing as a purse anyway). Then, once the singing was over (mostly stuff everyone knows, which was good) I made paper aeroplanes out of the carol sheets. I only lobbed 2 planes though, I didn’t want to make a public nuisance of myself. 

That more or less set the tone for the rest of the break. Someone bought me a bottle of gin as a present, wine poured generously at every house I called, mince pies and roast potatoes and after dinner mints and Baileys and smoked salmon and egg breakfast.. well, you get the picture. I over indulged and also, what with all the rain, I under exercised. 

So the last 3 days I've gone for a few miles walk every lunchtime and after work and eaten light things like vegetarian sushi and peppermint tea, and I feel a lot healthier already.  

I also bought a laptop from PC World over my holiday. They don't like it when you want to set it up yourself do they? They suggested I come back in 24 hours once they'd done it. When probed they admitted Windows 8 would more or less self install with prompts once I switched it on and Microsoft Office and virus protection were a simple matter of going on a couple of websites and entering the id number on the cards they were selling me, but they warned me that what the computer doesn't do is prompt you to do a backup. I promised to do a backup.They threatened me with everything short of it actually turning into a pumpkin if I didn't do a backup.

I said I'd manage. I mean - if I could bother to do one back in the stone age when it meant downloading it all onto CDs then surely I can cope now.

They asked me if I had work to do, and I had to stop myself from pretending I did just so I'd have an excuse. While I was hesitating over whether I really needed to make excuses to take the laptop I had just paid for they asked whether I wanted to bring it back for them to do a back up if I had to have it that night. 

I had to say 'I want to take it home' no less than three times. 

The thing is, I've worked in shops, I know sometimes customers insist on something and then complain when what you said would happen as a result happens, but there is a line between being helpful and giving advice, and actually making the customer feel as if they're being difficult and you think they're incompetent. This was well beyond it. 

The laptop is very nice though, set up really easily. Not sure if I care for Windows 8 yet, but I'll get used to it.

So Happy New Year. And many, many more of them.

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