This week I have been back at work. I have been out for just over 4 weeks, and it felt very odd going back up to London. The journey was ok though, I listened to the excellent Chris and Thomas on my iPhone on the way up, and slept, and looked out of the window and played solitaire.
I started walking from Waterloo, but by the time I got to Westminster I had lost my enthusiasm and hopped on the Tube the rest of the way.
In the time I've been away, we have moved back down to the first floor (Second Floor, American readers...the one up the stairs from the Ground floor. There's a clue in the name.) The new accommodation is cramped, noisy, hot and lacking in storage space. Just like the place I left last year then. Fan-tas-tic.
Everyone hates it, there is nowhere to put anything (paperless office my arse) and the coffee machine is nowhere to be found.
I don't actually drink coffee very much but it is still distressing to see colleagues wandering around the floorplate forlornly, mugs in hand, whimpering sadly as they go through caffeine withdrawal.
On my boss' advice I phoned up the departmental counsellor, who kindly agreed to see me that afternoon. That was tough. She was very kind though, and helpful, and gave me leaflets on Coping With Shite* and I am going back to see her next week. If it helps, I'm all for it.
I fell asleep on the train and slept all the way home, waking up in a panic in Salisbury wondering if I'd missed my stop and was halfway to Exeter.
I have worked at home today and yesterday and am back into London tomorrow. Work have been marvellous, but my God they must be tired of me by now. I feel like every week has provided a new, freakishly horrible, drama to disrupt life and add to the huge hot bale of stress I am now carrying around on the back of my neck. Which is nice.
Other news: The cleaning team came on Friday and did a good job. They were apologising as they left that they hadn't got round to doing the ironing, but to be fair they had slaved over the vile filth in the kitchen and bathroom, both of which were left spotless.
One of them said to me "Once we get on top of the place we'll have time to do some extra jobs." This got me thinking of stuff to ask them to do**. Excellent. I have come up with a few ideas, but more would be nice. Suggestions welcomed, obviously.
In fact, I felt so guilty at the thought of them having to tackle the appalling mountain of WithaY ironing that I spent an hour and a half yesterday evening doing a load of it, whilst watching reruns of "How Clean Is Your House". Some people really do live like pigs.
There was a couple who were repeatedly described as "former London high-fliers" who now run a farm in Kent. They both looked like leftover hippies, and their house was ankle deep in shit. Literally. The floors (and they were carpeted floors at that) were encrusted with mud, hair and dung. Lovely. Even their bedroom floor. And these were allegedly intelligent people. Fuckwits.
I was outraged, which is a good state of mind to be ironing in.
The weather today has taken a turn for the Apocalyptic. High winds, driving rain and the constant sound of squealing tyres and blaring car horns all combine for a relaxing background ambiance as I try to read the 450 emails in my work inbox.
Ah well. Could be worse. And when it is, I will let you know.
*I think. I'd need to look at it again to confirm the title
**Top of the list is repainting the dog shed, followed by chopping kindling, then clearing out the garage. I'm not sure our contract covers that, I'll need to check.