Well, this is all a bit weird – being in work but not very busy and becoming less involved with it all by the day.  This is my last full week in and I can feel the winding down increasing along with the usual post-contract exhaustion setting in nicely.

I know I’m going to have to brace myself for a long period of being out of work as there are literally hundreds of people chasing every sniff of a job and this is only going to get worse.  Goddamn virus.

  What makes it even harsher is that I will have to play the “recruiter-contractor” game for longer so will have to significantly increase my kissing frogs activity on the basis that one of them will turn into my next gig.  The best piece of advice I was ever given has stayed with me for many years – treat recruiters as your pimps!  I know it is a bit crude and probably not very politically correct but it has served me well.

We’ve all been talking about the balance between lives and livelihood for a while so all this is only to be expected but, naively, I know, I thought this was something that would happen to other people and not to me.  Hopefully I will be back to work soon – fingers crossed.

One time when the phone rang this week, I just wasn’t in the mood for talking to any of my pimps so I left it – big mistake, huge! – only to discover later that evening the call was in fact from my hairdresser.  I was gutted as it’s the call I have been waiting for and I bloody well missed it.  Once again, the universe was sending me a little reminder to pull myself together and remember that there was light at the end of the tunnel plus there was soon to be light on my very dark roots too.  I called them back several times but the salon wasn’t answering – aaarrggghh!  I will be lucky to have my roots done by the time we go on holiday to Devon at this rate.

Oh, did I forget to mention this?  Oh, yes, the holiday to Devon has been confirmed so I can’t work out if I am super-excited or super-scared but probably a mixture of both.  Dave is really pleased and is not-so-secretly hoping the gala evening is cancelled so he doesn’t have to wear his dinner suit but he knows if the dressing up in our finery is on, he has to also wear a lovely smile on his face. 

Happy wife equals happy life and all that! It really is a very odd situation because if the hotel is only doing room service, we will be eating in our pyjamas but if they are trying to give the experience they are famous for, it will be ball gowns galore.

It is crazy as we have saved money this year so I don’t really need to worry but as we had allocated that money to something else, I’ve had a few moments of panic.  It’s not quite stopped me from buying things but it has come close on a few occasions!

I try to take into account all the news and information I read and hear so I have convinced myself – and it didn’t take that much effort – that I need to help to get the economy back on its feet by putting money in the tills.  Boris wants to build his way out of this but my DIY skills are rubbish so I will do my bit as a considered consumer, meaning I shall think carefully before I commit to the purchase.  I’ve certainly bought a few new pieces for holiday but not as many as I would do normally.  That is VERY sensible for me!

There is also a high correlation between finally pushing the “buy me’ button and how tipsy I am.  Clearly a lesson to be had here but my drunken activity is increasingly becoming useful. 

This week, whilst giving up on trying to keep Dave awake past 10pm watching the Glastonbury highlights, I constructed our list for Devon, packed the non-perishable food, sorted out the charity bag and started booking restaurants to use some of the pre-lockdown vouchers (only to then discover the next day that we can’t go as there are too many households involved so ended up cancelling them out again – DOH!).  Quite impressive, though, I thought!

We had a lovely video chat with some of our best mates, “the 8 of us”.  The calls go on for hours and yet it only seems like 30 minutes.  One of the boys asked me if my knitted green dragon was finished yet – remember him from my day 1 list? – and I had to admit he wasn’t but it made me determined to complete it over the next few weeks.

The other interesting proposition that came up was whether I was ready to go back into restaurants to start reviewing them again as the hospitality industry are gearing up for post lockdown so were highly likely to want help in this way.  Mmmm, I’m not sure, but certainly one to ponder.

My final though for this week is that masks are absolutely useless unless they cover your nose and mouth so stop wearing them under your chin – or chins if you take the Covid stone into account!

My list:  I caught a few episodes of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and it completely drew me in even though it was a bit “BBC4/Sky Arts” which I don’t watch as often as I ought.  I really enjoyed it as it was like being in the theatre but on the sofa at home and the actors they have managed to secure are really impressive (Imelda Staunton, Sarah Lancashire, Maxine Peake, Jodie Comer and Martin Freeman to name a few).  I don’t know Alan Bennett’s work at all and vaguely remember it along the lines of it being highbrow claptrap but it was very moving, sad and believable (apart from the ridiculously clean oven of one of the characters!).

My lowlight:  My dad is still not very well and has to have more blood tests.  Fingers crossed it will all be ok.  This is the part of this virus that I absolutely hate with a passion.  I’m all for social distancing as it makes sense but when you have aging parents and you can’t hug them or sit with them in your childhood family home, it is tough – for everyone.

My highlight: Surprising Dave with a Birthday Zoom for him to open his presents from my family.  Birthdays have always been a big event in my family so a socially distanced celebration is definitely better than nothing.

So, week 14 was mainly up and chilled and long may this last.


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