Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas

I’ve been back in England for almost 2weeks now and am finally getting used to having the obligatory 2 cups of tea an hour (I believe it’s a law) and trying, without success, to make sense of the mother country’s obsession with Cheryl Cole. It’s bewildering I tell you. The last I heard of her she was some northern chav known as Cheryl Tweedy, best known for her alleged assault of a toilet attendant. A few short years later and she’s the nation’s sweetheart, thanks to her turn as a judge on X Factor!! It’s very bizarre.

I’ve been erring on the lazy side since I’ve been back, enjoying life dressed in nothing more glamorous than sweatpants with make up free features and unstyled hair, its bliss not to have to make too much of an effort for a couple of weeks. I did have big plans to go swimming everyday to try and work off a few holiday pounds in advance, but as it turns out the only exercise I am getting is from playing games on the Wii, with my nephew. Turns out I am a whizz at frisbee golf, crap at normal golf and average at 10pin bowling with a Wii age of 58!! Nice!!

Unfortunately I haven’t quite managed to escape work and ended up having to forfeit a few days vacation to enable the smooth transition of Client X’s recently won account to the agency so that we are good to go in January. Nevertheless I didn’t anticipate receiving a call from my head of department yesterday while relaxing at home enjoyng a rerun of Poirot.

Knowing that the agency is rumoured to be letting 200+ people go in January I have to say that seeing his name on my mobile set off a little flutter of panic, especially when I answered and he started the conversation by saying he didn’t have great news about Client X. This is it I thought, they've cut the budgets and I’m being made redundant, but then I’ve always had a touch of the pessimist in me when it comes to my job.

As it turns out Jane, a fellow Brit - who was hired to take some of the pressure off my head of department and lead the teams that Emma and I are in charge of - is no longer going to be moving to New York having found out she is pregnant. Despite being hired about 6months ago, going through the whole rigmarole of getting her visa and getting married to her longterm fiance, Jane and her new husband had yet to move to NYC owing to the fact that her elderly dog, which she planned to bring to New York, was not well enough to travel and was apparently “on it’s last legs” according to the vet, so we were essentially waiting for the dog to die before she could move over. "That dog's been on it's last legs for years" scoffed my friend - and former manager - Miles, who worked for Jane a number of years ago at a different agency, "she'll never move."

Turns out Miles was right. Personally I wasn't 100% optimistic about the situation, however I was hoping it would somehow resolve itself. Until it did Jane was working out of the London office. However now that she’s found out she is pregnant she’s decided not to move to New York and has ended her contract with us, so my boss wasn’t in fact calling to fire me but to ask out if I'd be okay with staying in the UK a little longer than planned in order to meet Jane in the UK and handover the portion of the Client X account that Jane's been running. I’ll now be flying back to NYC in early January instead of the end of December as planned. I'm a bit disappointed not to have a few days in NYC before I start work - I was hoping to be able to invite the girls over to enjoy a traditional glass or two of mulled wine – a festive something I miss when I am in the US - but on the plus side they'll be flying me back on business class. Yippee!!!

Today I let the serious business of the holidays begin. I'd planned to pop out early today to pop into Leeds and pick up some angostura bitters and sugar cubes for champagne cocktails tomorrow. Unfortunately I didn't get up when my alarm went off today at 9am and when I did wake up it was 11.30am!! I am reverting back to my American time as 11.30am/6.30am NYC is the time I usually get up for work. Dad sarcastically greeted me with "afternoon" when I came downstairs for a spot of breakfast. My parents have a cheek complaining about my tardiness to be honest since it’s their damn snoring that keeps me awake half the night. I didn’t fancy getting the train into Leeds at this time and fighting my way through the hoards of last minute Christmas shoppers and didn't rate my chances of acquiring anything so exotic in Normanton (the UK equivalent of Bumf**k, Arkansas). To be honest I wouldn't even know where they might sell bitters in Leeds, although I am sure they do. Maybe I will do that for New Years Day or something instead. My sister, brother-in-law and nephew are having Christmas dinner at my brother in law’s parents this year, so we are doing an American style brunch in the morning with pancakes, scrambled eggs and cocktails. My mother has put my nephew in charge of mixing the cocktails. Erm…mother, he's 12!!! Can you imagine how alcoholic those are going to be? My nephew of course will be drinking lemonade.

Perhaps I’ll save the champagne cocktails for New Years’ Day.

Happy Christmas!!

Carnaby St Snowmen by Jeff Galasso @ Flickr


Blur Ting said...

I love reading an account of your life. You do write so well even casually. Sounds like a good break though living with your parents for several weeks takes a bit of getting used to :-)

Merry Christmas and a happy new year Fish!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

And a Happy Christmas to you too back Blighty. I had to LOL at Cheryl Tweedy, it amazes me all the press coverage she gets even online. I remember her as the one who only got in the group thanks to her looks and big Geordie gab, she sure couldn't sing!

Enjoy the hols back home.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Blur Ting, thanks so much, you are so sweet to be so complimentary. I keep thinking of attempting writing a book, but it's hard to find the time. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2009. Fish xx

Hi Sarah, I completely agree about Cheryl Tweedy. I'm mystified by her success. Hope you are having a great Christmas and a happy new year. Fish xx

Kitty said...

ha! that's great news, Fish, I'm happy for you. It sounds like you don't have to worry about the job right now!

Merry xmas to you. Being back with your folks must feel good. I had to laugh at the snoring. My dad is the same. LOUD!

have a lovely time in the UK and post when you can!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Kitty, I have to admit that I did consider the job security benefits when I learned Jane was resigning, sad though I am to see her go.

Hope you are having a lovely time over the Holidays. All the best for 2009. Fish xx

Amel's Realm said...

HAPPY Christmas, Fish! ;-D

I'm HAPPY to hear that you're still on the job and you'll get back on a business class. WOOOHOOOO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO...

Sorry to hear about the snoring. I often kick R2 during the night due to his snoring LOL LOL!!! Gladly once he turns over, 90% of the time he stops snoring ha ha ha...

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Amel. Sorry to hear R2 keeps you awake with his snoring. My parents are dreadful. Luckily for you R2 stops once you roll him over ;-)

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Fish. Very glad to hear your job is safe -- that bit about "the dog on its last legs" is like something out of a movie! -- and that you got a lovely little extension to your vacation... and business class on top of it all? You're living the dream!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Mike S said...

Been meaning to get back here for some time. My feeds all got lost & I've been recreating my list. I'd missed seeing your feed anywhere, but was reminded of it today when I received a new supply of my favorite Yorkshire Tea from a friend in Leighton Buzzard(just LOVE that name) who keeps me well stocked. He's also a dependable source of HP Sauce & good single malt at better prices than here.

Rather odd that tea should be your opening line. Having spent a great deal of time in Europe & Asia, I'm somewhat addicted to good tea.

Enjoy the extended stay, although perhaps purchase of earplugs would be wise. hehehe

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Spandrel, I'm not sure my job is 100% safe, but it does help the situation that someone's resigned. We've lost 2 from the department in the last month, so being short staffed should hopefully shield us from layoffs. Fingers crossed.

Hope you had a fabulous Christmas too. All the best for 2009. Fish x

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Mike, glad to hear you drink proper tea and none of that Liptons rubbish that seems to be made with waterproof teabags ;-)

Earplugs sounds like a good idea. I shall investigate that option.

Hope you are enjoying the Holidays. Best wishes for 2009.