In common with the rest of my office, I reacted to the reality of being back at work with something akin to horror. You could tell panic had set in by the fact that most of us spent that first lunch hour of the new working year frantically calculating, researching, discussing and booking holidays. Never was there more earnest discussion of the fact that the end of May Bank Holiday has been moved to June (I forget why), which gives the glittering prize of a week off in June for the price of a mere three days.
Mostly, I try not to think too much about the never-ending mindlessness of working life, because I find it an overwhelming thought likely to induce hysteria. I still haven’t solved the problem of how to plug in a bit of life in which I’m required to think at the level at which I want to be pushed to think. Oxford’s Continuing Education courses don’t seem as though they’ll cut it, and anyway are at bizarre times that don’t fit even with my weird working hours. And I’m still 18 months away from not being regarded as a foreign student and therefore slightly more able to afford that PhD with the OU. By which time, presumably, university fees will have sky rocketed… La, la, la, I can’t hear you…
A few spring days in Italy seemed a good idea. Flights, even with real airlines, are cheap; but accommodation is not, then you throw in car hire and it all adds up. I’m still thinking about that one, trying to make a sober and sensible decision. Until it gets to the point where I have a particularly trying day, hit Expedia in a frenzied moment of ‘Fuck it’, and find myself off for a week in the hills outside Lucca. Oh god, I can practically taste it. Think car tax and MOT, think car tax and MOT.
However, since that ‘help, I’m trapped’ feeling was really beginning to build, I’m off to Derbyshire for the weekend, heading up straight after work on Friday night to wake up Saturday morning to Peak District glory. With any luck, open moors and skies and winds will work their magic and blow my restlessness away.