This is the first working day of the year and under normal circumstances I would be enjoying a glass of wine with my evening meal. It was not as difficult as I imagined to forego this pleasure. In fact, I felt a degree of quiet satisfaction as I enjoyed my sausages, beans and rice sans vin.
This was the same satisfaction I felt at being one of the few people who was at work between Christmas and New Year. Those few days represent a little oasis, a little hiatus in the fabric of time, when the phone is quiet and only the occasional innocuous email flutters into my inbox like a feather falling from a bird (unlike the usual emails which are more redolent of something a lot less pleasant falling from a bird), enough to tickle my nose without provoking paroxysmal sneezing. I used the time to catch up with correspondence, to scavenge in empty offices for stationery treasures – I found a small set of metal drawers which will be ideal to keep some of my papers in order (e.g., dysfunctional thought diaries, formulation diagrams, blank supervision forms, CBT paraphernalia, and..er…many other things to fill the remaining 11 or so drawers) – and to make some inroads into the backlog of data I need to input to the “Daily Diaries” – a wholly different beast from the pleasurable diary I’m writing now!
The empty offices? The building is a modern day equivalent of the “Marie Celeste”. The team I used to work with have vacated the three-storey (plus basement) town house for pastures new. I now share with a guy who just pops in at the start of the day, and the cleaner who comes in at 4pm. It is peaceful but strange. At some point there will be a mass clear-out, hence my scavenging. It is in my genes – a little dabbling in genealogy showed there were “scavengers” in the Cockney side of the family around 3 generations ago. It is good to carry on the family tradition.