76 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 20, 2023

  1. I am working on resting. I am very bad at it. There is so much that I want to do and so little time, it seems.

    This week at my day job is always extra crazy with last minute holiday stuff and of course the businesses we serve are also extra busy. On top of that, there is a group of identity thieves in our area producing fake ids and credit cards trying to pull money out and that has everyone on edge. Two have been caught so far.

    So I am not doing anything when I am at home, besides the most basic chores. I am not making or listing anything. Shipping has slowed down on its own, thankfully. But I feel like I should be doing things. Enforced stillness is hard.

    1. I totally get it. Recent bout of Covid has left me with very little energy to do much more than lie down. I’m impatient with myself and bored silly.

  2. I’m working on trying to get my cat healthy. It’s a little bit like a game of whack-a-mole. We find a fix for one thing, and another shows up. (Changed his food because of probably gluten intolerance causing major weight loss, and then he got a UTI because all the special foods for that have gluten in them, for instance.) It’s not fun. But he’s a sweetheart, and worth all the work.

    Working at not coming down with Covid, after one of my friends’ kids tested positive on Monday when we were all together for Yule dinner party on Saturday. Fingers and toes crossed.

    And trying to write a synopsis for the current novel. ‘Nuff said.

  3. This is the time of the year when I miss working. This is when the agents would send all those gift baskets to the departments in our office. Just thinking of all the tins of cookies in all their buttery goodness, chocolates, multiflavored popcorn in huge containers. That is till the powers that be started to crack down on gifts, bunch of Scrooges.

    1. I hear you, Mary. We received a letter advising there would no longer be any gifting to the company what so ever. One of our clients. American had bought the company. They do reach out wanting gifts and items donated for various company events.

      We always give chocolates to the accounting firm for tax season.

  4. Moving.
    I feel like Sisyphos.

    Note to myself: death clean to death in the next 4 years until our next move is scheduled. Accumulating stuff over 20+ years is BAAAAD:

    1. You are so very not alone, Dodo! From the Arghers in general, who are constantly buying yarn and books, books and shoes, and lord knows how many other categories of manyness we are not talking about so often, I have the feeling that there are many of us in the same situation. I have stopped buying Legos, and am finally considering parting with many of those that I already have and no longer think about. And the books! And the other books! And the graphic novels/comics! I will not continue mentioning categories, but I think more often about Swedish Death Cleaning all the time.

      1. I think about it a lot—for my mom and for our house. We moved 3 times in 17 months when we built our house so we are in much better shape than we were but I still need to do a lot. And my husband is not a hoarder but he has a Wall-e land (think opening scene of the movie Wall-e with the robot collecting dead gadgets on a dead earth) because maybe someday a part will be useful…
        My mom’s house is scary. Not a hoarder but she has lived there for 60 years.
        Some of my saddest memories are helping a friend clean her tiny house so that hospice could come take care of her partner. Partner really was a hoarder. One of the two bedrooms was literally full wall to wall and 6 ft high of things acquired largely at garage sales. I spent one afternoon cleaning the bookshelf that served as a pantry and throwing out the half that was out of date and cleaning up spills. Another just for the fridge which had 10 year old items. They had 7 pets and partner got a new one a month before she died. There was fur everywhere .
        My friend had lived in an immaculate house before she met her partner. And she had RA and between that, work, and taking care of her terminally ill partner who hoarded she couldn’t keep up with the dirt.
        Then three months after her partner died she did, largely from not taking care of herself while she cared for partner (side effects of dangerous RA drug and she never went to doctor to get necessary tests and medication changed— I wanted to file charges against the doc who kept renewing the prescription without seeing her but her parents refused.)
        And the family rather than clean up the house surrendered it to the bank.

  5. The bookstore where I work is closing at 3 on Sunday, and on Tuesday we start packing to move to a new location. Our lease is up on the 31st. I know it will get done, we have been preparing for months, but I can’t quite wrap my head around the actual move. Good times.

    1. We had to move our large used bookstore twenty years ago and it went remarkably well. Hang in there!

  6. I’ve been on the injured reserve list with some kind of upper respiratory crud. Last week I spent two days on the couch, just laying there. I thought I was recovered, but I still have the lingering cough. Not Covid though.

    Because of this, I’ve had to rearrange priorities and such. For example, I had a planned day off on Monday, so I could bake my traditional cookies for the neighbors. But, Monday ended up being Christmas card day, since I hadn’t done it earlier. So, now I have this coming Friday to bake. Hopefully, the neighbors will still be home to receive cookies then!

    In the meantime, I worked on the crochet wrap. (I figured I was resting on the couch, why not put those fingers to work). I did get it completed – and I even lightly blocked it – and it is now in a box awaiting our office christmas party this afternoon. It’s a goodly length, and about 16 inches wide


    I’m looking forward to next week when most of the craziness of the season will be over and I can get back to quilting!

    1. Get well soon, Nancy!

      I know I’m reading tooooo many hockey books if injured reserve reminds me of hockey ploayers. Or is this deliberate?

  7. I have zoom calls scheduled today almost back to back from 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM. Had a dream last night that my business partner and I were giving a presentation to a conference and realized that our slides were complete nonsense and she walked out and left me holding the microphone. My husband has recently taken to analyzing my dreams using ChatGPT. (I’m not sure this is a good phase in our relationship.) Apparently this particular dream means I have fears of failure. Really? I need to ChatGPT to tell me that?

    1. At least you weren’t in your underpants in front of the audience?

      My dreams have been too real lately too. I haven’t tried to interpret. They are pretty self explanatory. 😛

      1. I’d prefer being in my underpants. At least I wouldn’t look stupid. Well, if they were cute and clean.

    2. My dreams at this time of year involve trying to find things at work, in a building that has grown even stranger than it really is, and with less storage. Hah, ChatGPT, interpret that!

      1. ChatGPT says:
        Searching for things at work: Dreams about searching for items at work may indicate a sense of responsibility or a feeling of being challenged in your waking life. It could suggest that you are currently dealing with tasks or responsibilities that require your attention and effort.
        Building that has grown stranger: The strange transformation of the building in your dream may symbolize a feeling of unpredictability or uncertainty in your life. It could be related to changes or challenges you are facing, and the unfamiliar environment may represent your perception of these changes.
        Less storage: The reduced storage in the dream might reflect a sense of limitation or constraint. It could suggest that you feel restricted in terms of resources, time, or opportunities. This may be a subconscious expression of concerns about not having enough resources to meet your goals or fulfill your responsibilities.

  8. I wasn’t happy with the joint on the dragon-egg, and since it was clay anyway, I tore it off. It took hours and I stabbed myself in my palm and finger with pointy things because I’m stupid. ARGH. Unfortunately some mosaics came off with the joint, so I’m working on putting them back. Changed my mind from letting the egg be possible to open in two halves to be just a closed egg until I figure out a good and blind-friendly way to decorate the inside that will still allow it to close properly. Will also use different grout to join it all once the escaped mosaics have been put back. This will take time. Argh.
    I want to knit, but no patterns or ideas appeal to me right now. Argh.
    Thanks to ALL OF YOU I found a pinch of fighting spirit to use again and thanks to Kim a “weapon” of sorts to face down the docs with: Gastroparesis. I score on 7-8 out of 9 symptoms and since one cause for it can be calming medication or anti-depressants it’s even more logical. This started in June – I got Lorazepam, a calming medication/sleeping pill, a few weeks before, and used it for 1.5 week straight on doc’s advice where the how-to says max 3 days. It could very well be the villain. I showed the symptoms and causes to Sven and he too thought there were too many puzzle-pieces matching to be a coincidence, at the very least it should be looked into. Hurrah, he also ditched the idea that it’s “only in my head”! He managed to convince the receptionist at the hospital to ask the gastroenterologist to call me since we had “additional questions about the gastroscopy”, and she did today. She would not confirm or deny whether it could be a thing since the gastroscopy was not made with gastroparesis in mind. She said since she’d been tasked by the internist to do the examination and wasn’t the doctor responsible for my medical treatment or care, she couldn’t be of any further assistance. Ergo: I will have to start from scratch again and go through the GP’s office if I want this looked at. More convincing and more waiting-lists ahead. Argh. There’ll be nothing left of me for them to look at by the time I’m on the top of the list but a skellington. ☠️

    1. Why is medical care such a complete garbage fire everywhere?? It *sort* of makes sense here in the US where it’s a for-profit system, but why everywhere? Argh. Hope you can finally get an open-minded evaluation and some useful treatment.

      1. Yesterday we wasted a whole morning in travelling to the surgical center (on a good day an hour drive) so my husband could have cataract surgery. Only to be turned down because of his high blood pressure. Apparently, they couldn’t wait 15 minutes or so for it to go down. I keep thinking it seems like a factory line, if there is one delineation in the time involved, it will through the whole day off. As it was, we turned around and went home which took two hours as there was a storm the day before and everyone was out and about either lookey looking or workmen were busy cleaning up storm damage. There was a lot of backups down our favorite side streets only having to get back on the main road and crawl to our exit. Anywho, by the time we got home we looked in our own yard only to find our son and granddaughter had cleaned up the debris and that’s what made our day.

        1. Wow! Pretty disgusting if they couldn’t wait a few minutes. Or schedule a BP check with some padding built in before the surgery. I’m glad things got better after that at least.

        2. I’m so glad about the debris-cleaning! You accumulated a whole lot of debris in a very short time, if I recall your post-storm post correctly. Hope the fixing and replacement part goes as well. 🙂

        3. That is horrible! Couldn’t they just have taken the next person in line first then? As you say, that really feels and sounds like a factory-business. Happy to hear things improved after that, though.
          Will he get a new appointment to do the surgery?

        4. It is like a factory, usually because the procedure rooms are booked for eye surgery only one day a week (if you’re lucky, some places it’s 2 days a month). The practice that did my surgery rotates between 3 locations to accommodate their surgery load. A man I used to work for had his cataracts done a bit before I did and from another clinic and their goal was to put through 100 patients in a surgery day with 3 doctors doing surgeries.

          I’m not saying what they did was right, they could have put another patient ahead of your husband and then slotted him back in after his BP had calmed down, but when it comes to cataract surgery volume is the name of the game.

          One of the accounts I do medical transcription for has 4 hospitals in their network and you can always tell when it’s cataract day.

      2. Yes, I keep hearing that America is the worst, but so far I haven’t seen much better from The Netherlands, or Sweden even. It’s always a fight, and if you’re not fit enough to fight for yourself, you never know how it will end. How are very sick people supposed to do that? I thought doctors swore an oath to always help and heal. I’m starting to doubt the honesty of their vows. Open-mindedness? Not sure they know what that word even means. Then you also have the dual nature of them on one hand sometimes asking you “So what do you think you might suffer from?” and then on the other hand get irritated if you tell them that you “read about it online”. I just… can’t.

      1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you all cheering me on.
        So far it’s not going so well. Sven managed to get me a phone-appointment with the GP today. GP did give me a referral to the gastroenterologist, but it didn’t go smoothly. Long story short and in summary: He doesn’t believe me and thinks I am nuts and making things up, because there is no way I can suffer from this because I don’t have diabetes. He kept cutting me off when I tried to argue for why it should be looked into and eventually hung up on me because he “thought it was distressing to have a discussion like this on the phone”. But, he did give me the dang referral so I guess it’s a victory anyway, even if I had to go cry a bit after he hung up on me. Distressing call indeed. Don’t want to go back to him again.

    2. I’m happy that my comment helped! A friend suffered for years before getting this diagnosis and almost wasted away. He is addressing it successfully through dietary changes, including small meals and low fiber. He no longer consumes raw fruits or veggies—they must be cooked. I’m sending hugs and positive thoughts your way.

      1. Thank you! I will be wasted away before long too if they don’t figure out what it is. Years? That sounds absolutely horrifying. I’m happy to hear your friend found a solution eventually! Dang, I certainly will miss fresh fruits and stuff if it is this thing and I have to stop eating that. Fruit is one of the things that keeps me going. I guess we will find out. Or not. Or possibly in a billion years. Scary thought..!

  9. I decorated some more for the holidays. I cast the runes and drew some Crystal Ally cards to see what will need attention next year. I gathered the crystals to use through the year. I got back on the exercise machine. I hurt that night. I am so out of shape!

    I am thankful for my good health when I read the struggles some of you are going through. I appreciated your support through the eye surgeries and the sinus infection/cough virus. May next year be a year of healing for all of us.

  10. I looked forward to Working Wednesday. And then, all I managed to accomplish was grocery shopping – and that was Walmart+ delivery. For me, all the work was carrying bags down the stairs to the Owner’s Suite. This year, my Christmas presents to the kids and grandkids will be bought with tax return money. It makes the shopping easier (in February, I expect).

      1. My worst problem with remote shopping is that I can’t resist buying heavily processed foods that are horrible for me. For example, the Marketside Chicken Caesar Wrap. On paper, the idea of the wrap is good. Boneless breast of chicken. lettuce, parmesan cheese, oil and spices in a tortilla wrap.

        In execution, it’s 670 calories, 55 grams of carbs, 1820 mg of sodium, 200% delicious. I’ve tried making one from scratch. I suck at it. But what makes it the worst is that if I buy several wraps (because they usually aren’t in stock), I immediately eat whatever wraps were delivered. Tuesday’s delivery had two wraps.

    1. “All I managed” is not just a small thing. Grocery shopping is one of the most tiresome and tedious things there are. Well done you for doing that!

  11. I’m on Jenny’s theme: working and getting nothing done. I should at least be sending out catch-up Christmas or year-end emails to friends and relatives and doing year-end tax-related stuff. Instead it’s been things like 1) coping with my new, strict dental regime after unexpected dental work (obeying food rules for healing from one extraction, gathering and using various prescription and OTC meds to try to limit further problems), and 2) trying to keep head above water on routine chores. But there’s been some movement in the right direction, and at least I had a fairly productive chores-and–grocery-shopping day yesterday, and I got back under my calorie ceiling after several days of a bit too much seasonal cookies and candy. We’ll see what today brings!

  12. I’m also wondering (is wondering a kind of work?) if other other people find it as grating as I do to hear Christmas carols sung to the “wrong” melodies, with wrong defined as not the ones I grew up hearing. Local classical-music FM stations are now into Christmas mode, playing lots of carols, mostly from choirs or choruses. The British ones (or sometimes even American ones) seem to use the “wrong” melodies for a number of carols, such as “Away in a Manger.” I don’t know if variant melodies are also a thing in other language communities. I can’t think of any clear examples in the foreign-language carols common on US airwaves (except perhaps a few Latin ones).

    1. I think choirs tend to try new arrangements from time to time, and there are still a number of cathedral schools and choirs here that are quite ambitious musically (I worked on a book about them a few years ago).

      1. Jane, Objectively there is nothing at all wrong with variety and innovation. Were I a totally objective person, it would not bother me at all to hear carols sung to a different melody. (In some cases, research has informed me that the “wrong” melody is in fact the original one.) I just find my irritation to be an interesting psychological phenomenon and I wonder if an anyone else here shares it.

        1. It means that you are more attached to tradition than to the words of the carols. But when I remember that the radio starts playing them earlier every year, I am sometimes grateful for a change. My sister is a retired choral conductor and she would often bemoan the fact that there is so much wonderful music that we never hear because we are afraid we won’t like it as much as our childhood favorites that we won’t even look at or listen to anything else.

          1. I’ve been keeping track of myself since this comment was posted and it seems I have no objection to *new* carols or foreign ones new to me, as long as they don’t deviate too far from my musical tastes that also apply to non-holiday music. (Even that limitation does not apply very strongly to foreign-language traditional carols.) It’s just the familiar words to “wrong” melodies that get to me.

    2. Having grown up in a musical/ performance based family I think that I heard so many versions of everything that there was never a “right” one.

      1. In my temple youth group we had a game to see how many tunes we could come up with that would fit one of the prayers we said every week. Some of them were just silly, but a few of them were surprisingly lovely.

        1. When I went to Friday night services with a friend (I was visiting her at college some thousand miles from where we grew up) I faked my way through the prayers thanks to the transliterated Hebrew in the student prayer books, but she was amazed that I faked my way through the melodies. I told her I didn’t know how I did that, it just all sounded familiar. That was my second time ever attending shul.

  13. I got unstuck on my WIP rewrite, but instead of blazing ahead, I’ve just been adding a little here and there. I wanted to get through this whole pass by the end of the year, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I pruned back the hibiscus plant outside our living room window yesterday as a drastic means of getting on top of the white fly situation. Poor plant. I’d been trying to treat it with insecticidal soap, but it was too big to do a thorough job of spraying the underside of each leaf. Glad I decided to cut it back, since it became clear I’d missed a lot of eggs. That was a disgusting project. Have to call the insurance company today to get pre approval for Kid 1 to have gum surgery. Why do doctors/dentists refer so often to practices that aren’t in network? If I didn’t like our dentist so much, I would be severely annoyed.

  14. I managed to finish making presents and cards, wrap everything, and post them in time to use the somewhat cheaper 2nd class post. I’m two-thirds of the way through decorating my Christmas tree. And I’m brainstorming ways to cheer myself up, during and after Christmas. This year feels even worse than usual, partly because the friend who usually comes for Solstice switched her visit to ten days earlier, before Christmas had got going.

    Must finish my tree and get myself organized – I’ve slowed to a snail’s pace.

    1. Sending you timed pocket-hugs for when you need some cheer. Or company. I hope you find a way to keep yourself distracted and cosy during the holidays. Perhaps with books, TV-series, movies, music you love and find comfort in.

  15. I’ve been working on minor decluttering, of in-boxes and to-do lists, while in final prep for my week away. Remote working from the parents’ house is going to be strange even if the tech all works perfectly (I am not a techie person, so I have anxiety about the setup. Am supposed to sign on for work Dec 26 which means I will spend most of Xmas Day ramping up my new resident computer system, then telling the work laptop which WiFi network to connect to, then crossing fingers that it actually does). Not nervous about the travel at all, but def nervous about all this.

    Also did some more work on the Regency novella, had some useful thoughts about a follow-up (formerly conceived as a separate book, in fact conceived before the novella, but having now written the novella I have a lot of worldbuilding done which provides a big chunk of setting for the other story. Efficiencies!).

    Did the last yardkeeping of 2023, tearing out messy morning glories, cleaning off the trellises (will offer those to our neighbor whose tomato monster, which fell over our driveway wall early on, gave us fruit all summer), and clearing a bit more area in the backyard poppy & sunflower patch.

    DH had to fly to San Francisco to deal with his aged mother’s banking. He’ll be home tonight and pizza is on the menu.

  16. I’m working on getting in the holiday spirit. The world events over the past few months continue to sadden me, so embracing the holidays this year is slow in coming.

    Today the plan is to do some Christmas baking. And make my chocolates. Over the weekend, I released a holiday short read story in my mystery series, and I think that helped move me forward. And hubby and I got our tree decorated this week, later than usual for us, but it’s cheery and bright so that helps, too.

    Anyone curious about the story can see it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CQ9W4RCZ

    And now I’m off to fill the house with the scent of warm chocolate and baking cookies and tarts:)

    1. Ooh I wish I could be there and smell the christmassy smells and atmosphere! I miss the lights and pretty decoration a lot since I can’t see them anymore, so if I don’t get the christmas-smells, it’s…kind of not Christmas for me. Especially if people around you aren’t really much for celebrating Christmas. Hope you managed to catch some of the Christmas-spirit with the baking! What did you end up making?

      1. Thanks, Shass. There actually were lovely Christmassy scents! And still are today. I did way too many chocolates, lol. Very cute reindeers and Santas mostly. And blueberry tarts as well as apple so lots of cinnamon goodness. Working on more tomorrow because I also make some main dishes ahead of time and freeze them to make the actual time people are here easier.

        And yes, it did help a bit with my holiday spirit. Not enough to watch any holiday movies yet but maybe on the weekend:)

  17. In the mode of working but not getting much done, either—am working on the mate to a fingerless mitt and stopped to count stitches. First mitt has five fewer stitches in the body than the second. Not sure I have enough yarn to make two more mitts to match them both. This is after finding that the other pair of mitts I made, two weeks ago, are different lengths.

    Think I’ve got low-level covid, too—sore throat, headache, etc. Everyone in the house is feeling mildly off; son-in-law (not living in house but often here) tested positive Sunday, so I don’t know if we’re sick or just suggestible as hell.

    If I find any oomph I’m going to make my family’s traditional orange-sugar-cookies with date filling. Christmas does not happen without them. (Christmas isn’t really rocking this year, anyway—I grew up celebrating Christmas but converted to Judaism, so we only really celebrate Christmas when my sisters come to visit. Except for stockings. And food.)

    (By the way, I know there are yarn-aholics on this site—Webs, the yarn store in Northampton MA, just sent me email announcing year-end sale, quite a lot of nice yarn half price. http://www.yarn.com. Just in case, you know, anyone needs some temptation.)

  18. I’ve heard of that game, also played by Christian kids, but I never really played it. I was, however, once on a retreat where a priest had set the Our Father (or had found such a setting, anyhow) to Waltzing Matilda, which worked surprisingly well, although I have not encountered it since.

    A number of carols are repurposed secular songs. The most obvious is “What Child is This” from “Greensleeves,” but in other less popular cases the secular originals are not much known. A lot of the seculars seem to be Irish.

    A rare reverse case is probably the Dorsai Anthem “Soldier, Ask Not,” from an sf series by Gordon Dickson (including a novel of the same name). I had long been pretty sure of the melody that the printed words fit, but could not name it. I only recently identified it as the carol “Angels From the Realms of Glory.” A web search just now turned up one person who had come to the same conclusion, but no indication from Dickson himself. (In Animal Farm, Orwell says that the melody of “Beasts of England” is sort of a cross between La Cucaracha and My Darling Clementine. I don’t know what the cross would be, but it works with either of the two.)

  19. Writing work involved writing a poem that was well received at critique and by others who read it. And I’m pretty happy with work I’m doing on my novel.

    Decision making work included facing facts that I’m going to need to do paperwork crap the beginning of 2024 if our housing situation is going to become more sustainable economically speaking. I hate paperwork so I was thinking I might have to devise rewards for myself along the way.

    More fun news is we’re having lunch with my aunt at an Irish pub tomorrow. And my brother and his lover are coming to visit on 12/27. We’ll be hanging out & eating food atmy Aunts oceanfront condo.

  20. I’m dealing with mom. She hasn’t produced a new bad idea in a whole 48 hours so I’m trying to reach out to a lawyer, a dementia specialist, the DMV, and the church that apparently got the battered man help and may have useful info for me. I continue to score points in our discussions which I realize is a terrible way to think about this but I have to find my fun somewhere.

    I’m also proofing DD’s PhD again. And hating the horrible academic jargon — this kid can write beautifully so I’m pretty sure this is what she has to do to get it done .

    And trying to come up with a few fun presents for DH and DS. The others show up later so I have time.

    And I have two medical appointments tomorrow.

    I got in the two big day job deadlines this week and had a third one that went well last week. I’m hoping to catch up on lots of dropped balls over the next couple weeks.

  21. I’m doing really well in the working without getting things done stakes. I’m also doing well in having to put things off again because yet another problem cropped up. It’s been pretty boring. Reading, as ever, continues.

  22. Been working on house cleaning, cookie baking and gift-wrapping in the lead up to the holidays. Ho ho ho.

  23. Also ‘working but not finishing anything’. Actually I’m happy to take baby steps on a couple of my projects. I did finish one. Yay.

  24. I succeeded in getting holiday cards out last week. A huge triumph, which is marred by the fact that I didn’t keep a list of the folks that I sent cards to.

    Now I’ve gotten a couple of cards from people and am not sure if I sent them cards.

    Do I send them (possibly) duplicate cards? I guess getting too many is better than none?

  25. I wrote some letters and put together a mailed chimp thing. Since I haven’t done one in three years, it was a fairly big problem, but I had to stop when the boys got here. I really love them but they need a lot of attention and sometimes it feels like too much. I had them for 3 1/2 hours. It felt like a full day.
    Ready to fall into my chair and read just three or four more things to do and then I can do that.

  26. I (against my better judgement) went to my work Christmas lunch/gift exchange yesterday and the pharmacist announced that after 23 years of commuting an hour each way 5 days a week, he’s done at the end of the week. The company is recruiting hard for a new pharmacist but I shudder to think of what will happen to our town if we can’t get one. We can’t keep the retail part of the store going for long without the pharmacy and there are too many people here for whom the 45-60 minute drive to the nearest pharmacy is way too long, it could be a disaster. Fortunately, they seem to have a lot of people interested in locum work so that’s good.

    I got new reading glasses for working on the computer and they seem to be working well for me so I should be able to put in a full day at the day job by the end of the year!

  27. This week is the first week of school holidays, so I am working on not working, although there has been a trickle of stuff to do – some interviews and some surveys that did not quite get done by the close of play last week.

    And now I am working on next episode of podcast and reading the book for the podcast after that. Plus plans for Christmas Eve dinner on Sunday – we will be 14 with various waifs and strays from amongst my colleagues. There will be children careering around, roast lamb and roast potatoes with salad, Christmas pudding and mince pies.

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