Thursday 27 October 2011

Work is a four letter word

So, I've been back at work for a month - give or take a day or two. In that time we've moved house, our son has turned one and we've celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. It's been an eventful month. I've been unpacking since we moved in and if I get it all done before retirement age it will be a miracle. Apparently moving house is one of the most stressful things in life. I can assure you that unpacking is hardly a picnic either.

Since I've been back at work I've come to the conclusion that I just don't want it all. I'm perfectly happy to be 'just' a wife and mother. After 25 years of work (with the exception of a year of maternity leave and a few months of unemployment back in 2006) I'm chucking it all in to stay at home and watch daytime tv. Ok that's not strictly true, but commuting to work in an office where no one talks to me all day and the high point of conversation is the PAs discussing what sangwich (sic) they had for lunch is no match for staying at home with my son.

If ever I was unsure about my decision to quit work today was the final straw. This is how it was supposed to go: wake up, have breakfast, travel to a meeting in a prison, come home. This is how it actually went:

Woke up and hit the snooze button twice. Went to get the baby for his morning feed, while hubbie let the cat out (cat flap due to be installed in the afternoon, we are still acting as door staff for the family feline). Handed baby over to hubbie and went downstairs to find that in the night the cat had decided to create modern art using litter all over the carpet. It was still only 6.30am and I didn't want to disturb neighbours by vacuuming so got the dustpan and brush out to clean up while hubbie gave baby his breakfast. Realised I was running late and wouldn't have time to a) eat anything b) prepare anything to take with me. Ran out of the front door with one arm in my coat and trying to hold onto an umbrella and an apple and pear hastily grabbed from the fruit bowl. The pear was fine at this point. As I opened the front door saw Neo sitting out front and was undecided whether to risk him following me to the tram or to press on and let hubbie deal with him and risk getting locked out with the baby as they were in the doorway waving me off. Half walked, half ran to tram stop - even went through the woods which spook me out, but was in a hurry so risked it by running and jumping the puddles. Made the tram and even got a seat - marvellous ! Checked my phone to see that if lucky I'd actually make my train to Clapham Junction. Pear starting to disintegrate. Tram stopped and the driver announced that we wouldn't be moving as there was a 'revenue dispute.' Tram started moving again. Got to East Croydon two minutes after my train had left.  Went to machine to buy a ticket - got confused by all the options so went to the window and bought the one via Clapham Junction. Ran to platform 1 and made fast train - even got a seat ! At Clapham Junction found the platform for Clandon and realised that had I stayed on the tram to Wimbledon I could have joined the train there - rats !! Went to get a brew from my fave coffee shop and three men got to the queue before me so I went back to the platform and bought tea and croissant from 'Cuppacino.' Got on train and got a seat - yay !! Stood up and spilled very hot tea on myself - ouch !! Spent rest of the journey with half a cup of tea and wet trousers slowly going cold. Pear really not in a good way and now bag smells of rotting fruit. Got out at Clandon and went outside to get a taxi (as advised) to the prison, only to find they don't actually have taxis at the station - you have to pre-book, apparently. A nice man overheard me and offered to share his taxi to the prison, but it wasn't coming for another 25 minutes so I tried phoning the prison to tell them I'd be later than expected - no one answered. Got to the prison and signed in and waited at the gate to be picked up. And waited. And waited. Then went to ask if the knew I was there - eventually got picked up and taken to the meeting. After the meeting was taken on a comprehensive tour of the site, complete with watching the prisoners eat their lunch while not having anything to eat <rumble>. Pear now in need of last rites, but in desperation ate it using a napkin and all my fingers to stop it turning to cider. Finally left prison and was driven to Woking to get the fast train. Went to buy a ticket extension and was told I'd have to buy a new ticket for the journey as it's a 'different line.' Sighed, bought ticket and got on train. Five minutes outside Clapham Junction announcement that we had to move to the front 5 carriages to get off the train so I and about 50 other passengers got up and plodded the length of the train (much to the chagrin of a woman in first class). Finally got back to East Croydon - sent message to hubbie declaring myself hungry and fed up. Cheered up to hear that baby was asleep, cat flap had been fitted and my Mum had brought a hundred weight of yummy food over.

Really wish I'd stayed in bed and watched the fox scrumping windfalls in our garden - think I'll do that tomorrow.

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