Time off for excessively awesome behaviour

So I have week off work ostensibly to celebrate my birthday (more on that later).  Now work is very busy and it’s been hard to take leave but when my original plans fell through I offered to cancel my leave and do some hard office time.  My manager however insisted that I go and refused to revoke my parole.  Initially I thought this was a reflection of how hard I’ve been working and her intense desire to maintain my well-being.  On further reflection though it occurred to me that it may have been due to any or all of the following incidents:

The NHS love a bit of mandatory training but don’t differentiate between different types of clinical staff.  Apparently on manual handling courses it is not considered the done thing to point out that if you work in mental health ‘manual handling’ basically constitutes inappropriate touching and they probably shouldn’t be encouraging me to do that.

Also when being trained to use the new data storing system and being awarded ‘superuser’ status, they really don’t like it when you refuse to attend the extra training unless they give you a cape.

When encouraging attendance for the anaphylaxis training  which basically is not catchy on account of no-one can spell it; the suggestion that they use the tagline “stab ’em or bag ’em” to promote epi pen awareness did not go down as well as I would have expected.  Not even when I drew them pictures complete with body bag wielding undertakers looking all sad and shaking their heads in a ‘oh, if only more people knew about epi pens’ kind of way.  I guess they thought undertakers would be pleased about more people dying like giant red balloons (but the kind you never give to children, not even with a ribbon attached).

On the same day as this, we also get CPR type training which is run by an organisation called ‘Back to Life’.  Now the obvious conclusion when you see this is that you are going to be trained to be either Jesus or some sort of zombie master.  Not being sure which made it very hard to plan my wardrobe for the day.  Who would have thought that some people think blending the two is blasphemous?  If there was no such thing as zombie Jesus we wouldn’t have Easter now would we? I think it’s just that the trainer remembered me from last year’s unpleasantness: https://talesofthemildlydiscombobulating.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/stupid-ankle-sprain

The final straw however was possibly me doing a massive sea of printing on our shiny new printer. I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself until it stopped dead, flashed its lights and refused to go any further until I tended to its needs.  I topped up its paper,  checked its ink levels and patted it reassuringly while whispering sweet technological nothings into its flappy bits (totally not as dirty as it sounds)

Nothing.

After swearing, pleading, pressing every single button and opening every drawer, flap and orifice (the printers not mine) it finally grudgingly gave up the message ‘JAM’.

At last I knew what the little blighter was after so I hop to it and acquired the finest fruit preserves available on the NHS. Now I’m no IT whizz despite having worked out how to turn it off and on again, so I wasn’t quite sure which of the aforementioned orifi (that’s gotta be a word right?) one would apply jam to.  So I guessed and I guessed liberally.  It was like a messy but enthusiastic union between a donut and a jammy dodger only with more bees (an unexpected side effect that I probably should have thought through)

Anyway it must have worked as our admin was so tearfully grateful she says I don’t have to do my own printing anymore.

So basically the only logical conclusion is that I’m being given time off to top up my awesome after having so freely and generously flung it about the workplace ( the awesome not the………oh actually sorry, that too)

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Cookery for A&E lovers

So I’m usually a reasonably ok cook.  I go into the kitchen, a moderate amount of swearing happens and every single pot, pan and utensil somehow ends up in a filthy pile in the sink before finally food emerges at the other end (of the kitchen I mean, not the other end ….well I suppose that too but for once it’s not that kind of story).

It’s fair to say however, that the path to stomach based contentment has not always run smoothly for me.  On one particularly fine occasion I became distracted, wandered off and actually managed to burn soup.  The marks of my battle with squid risotto will remain forevermore on my kitchen walls (how was I to know that when you cut into those neatly prepared tubes, they shoot their tentacles out of the arse end like small, slimy, face eating rockets?)

Just for anyone still questioning their own culinary skills, here is the tragic tale of me versus poached eggs.

Now poached eggs are tricky little blighters.  They pretend to be all basic with their “ooh, just drop me into hot water and I’ll be all oozy and delicious for you baby” come on’s but we all know that this is lies.

The water has to be heated to exactly the right kind of hot and bubbly.  Ever tried to poach eggs in a Jacuzzi? Just don’t, really.

Then you need the right kind of acidy, vinegary something that has to be purchased from virgins by the light of the second full moon of the month.  If I were a cynical type I might note that the latter is in somewhat greater supply round this neck of the woods than the former.

Finally you have to have an egg in the precise moment of poachy freshness which is neither so close to it’s birth date that it can still smell chicken poo, or three seconds later than that, when it has resigned itself to an unfulfilled life of mere frying or boiling and is now a little depressed and resentful.  There is a whole untapped market for ovum therapy.

Anyway, once you have gathered your accoutrements, you need to crack the egg in one smooth movement, drop it from precisely 4.6cm above the highest bubble on the surface of the water and then stir frantically in order to create a tiny vortex, from inside of which the spirit of Delia Smith will emerge and speak the magic words that transform your dinner from a sodden, snotty pile of string to a perfect ivory sphere, complete with internal molten gold  (yes, I know I’ve been watching far too much Masterchef).

Now on this fateful occasion I really thought I’d got it right, I’d prayed to the great goddess Nigella, sprinkled herbs and aromatics all about me (ok, knocked the spice rack over) and said the special incantation (fuckityerbastardbloodywellwork)

Suddenly there was a great cloud of smoke and a sense of unusual warmth about my hands.  I gazed at them in wonder, convinced that at last I had found the wizardry which would propel me to gastronomic stardom among the poached egg connoissuer set and imagining the accolades that would be laid before me.

That’s when I realised that I’d got too close to the gas hob and set fire to my sleeves.

Caravan of doom

So everyone loves a caravan holiday right?  It’s like camping but less shitty.  You can connect with the great outdoors but still pee inside which is basically the definition of civilisation.  Philosophy, religion and politics all become irrelevant in the face of having somewhere warm and moderately snake free to unload your digestive system.

Now this is all well and good until you are on your journey home from a folk festival, quietly congratulating yourself on achieving bacon sandwiches at both the preparation and disposal ends of the spectrum with a modicum of dignity.  At this point the car makes a strange flatulent noise (a bit like the disposal of aforementioned sandwiches alongside several pints of beer and a large kebab) and sputters to a halt in the middle of a very busy dual carriageway with no hard shoulder and a caravan that is quivering like an agoraphobic snail.

Luckily for me and all those who use the highways of Britain, I was not alone.  The practical thinking, macho type man beside me uttered all the appropriate swears before donning the hi vi jacket of super official responsibility. The one day of British summertime was in full force and no hazard lights were visible to the hordes of motorists who had attempted a day trip to the seaside to complain about how hot and busy it all was.

 Anyway, my stalwart companion boldly strode forth into the road and attempted to shoo away oncoming traffic as if it were a flock of particularly malevolent geese.  Profanities streamed from his mouth in such a way that would make the saltiest of sea dogs quake in their undergarments and the trauma of the moment caused gusts of arse turbulence such as could only be emitted by a man who has spent a whole weekend on real ale and now faced his imminent demise under the wheels of a thousand Nissan Micras.

Now I was not idle during this time.  I was frantically calling for rescue and vodka in equal proportions.  Being stranded in the West Country on a Sunday, both were in short supply, as was my sense of perspective.  It appeared that my breakdown cover was only valid on days with an ‘x’ in them if the moon was full and goblins had attacked otherwise there were additional charges.

At this point a saviour appeared.  Far from being  a Christ like figure in white robes and with the power to summon hard liquor at will, he was a six foot son of the land complete with shit stained overalls and a Somerset accent so thick it could cut treacle.

He also had a large Landrover complete with a very large chainsaw on the back seat and two very bemused sheep in the boot.  Our hero, recognising the plight of the terminally middle class and helpless, dragged us to the safety of a nearby layby.  The sheep by this time had happily ensconced themselves in the caravan and were enjoying a quiet gin and tonic whilst criticising my curtains.

So anyway, rescue happened but I can’t tell you much about that on account of losing the whole night doing tequila slammers with extra mint sauce