I thought I'd have a lie in this morning because I'm not at work today. I didn't see the point of going into the office for three lifeless days in the run up to Christmas. The last two days of the week are bank holidays, rather special ones, and I'll be elsewhere gorging on sprouts and turkey. Then next week the office is closed so I couldn't go in even if I wanted to. Which means that I appear to have an entire complete fortnight off work, starting now. Which is why I'm still asleep. Sorry, you're obviously not.
Maybe you're one of the poor sods who has to go into the office this week. Perhaps you've been given a Christmas Eve deadline by some evil project manager, so there's no escape right up until Wednesday afternoon. Perhaps you've run out of leave entitlement for this year, so you're trapped at your desk no matter what. Perhaps you just like going in when it's quiet, because that way you get paid to surf the internet and look out of the window while nobody's looking. Whatever, I'm sorry, I've got a fortnight off and you haven't. Still, at least you might get most of next week off.
Maybe you don't work in an office at all. Maybe you'll be selling stuff in a shop today, hoping desperately that members of the public actually turn up and give you money. Maybe you work in banking instead, hoping desperately that members of the public go away and stop asking you for money because you haven't got any. Maybe you work in public transport, or in a restaurant, or on the dustcart, or delivering the post, and are busy counting the days until Christmas Eve. Whatever, I'm sorry, I've got a fortnight off and you haven't. Still, at least you might get a couple of days off later this week.
Or you might be one of the sterling public servants who work through Christmas to make sure the rest of us can enjoy ourselves. Possibly you keep the electricity going, or the gas flowing, or the water running, so that the rest of us can cook and flush and Wii. Possibly you work on a farm or in a care home, because growth and decline don't pause just because it's Christmas. Possibly you keep the health service afloat, so that hypochondriacs with manflu can ring 999 and waste the resources of a nation. Possibly you're a TV announcer, or a vicar, or the cleaner in a hotel, or some other profession that doesn't shut down for a festive break. Whatever, the rest of us are really extremely appreciative of your self-sacrifice. Still, at least you might get a quick nap between shifts sometime on Thursday if you're lucky.
Or maybe you don't work at all. If you're retired then a mere fortnight off is nothing special. If you're still at university then your break is probably twice as long as that. But if you have the misfortune to be unemployed then the coming two weeks probably look like more of the same, just hugely more expensive. It's a grim time of year to be struggling, and it's a grim time for more folk than usual this year. So look, I'm doubly apologetic. I'm getting paid a salary for the next fortnight even though I'm doing bugger all productive, and you're surviving on nothing much and grafting hard in an attempt to celebrate Christmas as tolerably as possible.
I love my fortnight off. Sorry. I may even wake up soon.
What's on this weekend? Spring Into Summer Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 May
40 free guided London walks. Purley Festival Friday 29 - Sunday 5 June
Bunting week, below Croydon. E17 Art Trail Sat 30th May - Sun 14th June
250 arty Walthamstow things.