Storms on the horizon – first published 3 October 2013


Mostly I don’t feel old. Well, not until I look in the mirror anyway. In my head I guess I’m twenty, maybe twenty five. On 3 October 2013 though, I felt ancient. This was down to Ashleigh. This was the day she turned twelve. How did that happen? How could I have a twelve year old granddaughter? It just wasn’t possible, not when I was only twenty, or maybe twenty five. Where did all those years go to?

3 October 2013

It was all about spreadsheets again today, gathering a body of evidence. This was not to save my job you understand. I’m not naive enough to believe that’s going to happen at this late stage. The body of evidence was to prove just how much I am worth in terms the bean counters can easily understand. In the end I surprised myself.

Five times my annual wage, plus a bit, was the figure I came up with. There was more but I couldn’t get the data on flight costs to put it as anything other than a percentage, still 35% saved from my own negotiations sounds pretty good, even without a £ sign in front of it. The numbers are not pie in the sky, they are actual figures on the savings I’ve made in the year I’ve been there and I want them on the record so I’m going to point them out in my meeting tomorrow. There are a few other things I’m going to point out too but I’m keeping them to myself for the moment.

This is a lost cause but I’m going to enjoy myself making things a little uncomfortable for the HR Witch. There has to be some fun in all this somewhere right? It’s not about spite, it’s about not going down without a fight. This happy little office has been my home for over a year. The people here, with their amazing work ethic, their dedication, their joy in putting together something special detail by detail deserve so much better. They’re not going to get it because bean counters are mostly blind to everything but beans. The best we can do is give them something to remember when hindsight finally kicks in.

The storm they forecast hadn’t really come to much by lunch time, although the wind was howling round the building in a very spooky way and every so often the door would creak in an alarming way. Alice and I wrapped up and wandered up to town, buffeted a bit but dry at least. The parks had a thin covering of fallen leaves. We even managed to get all the way back without getting wet although the sky looked brooding and dangerous.

When all this is over, I’m going to miss Alice and lunchtime walks in the parks. I’m going to miss the view from our penthouse windows too. There’s always something going on out there, like the demolition work. Every day we peer out of the kitchen window and there is less building to look at. Then there are the sunsets. All through last winter the most splendid sunsets I’ve ever seen were laid out before me. I couldn’t stop taking photos of them.


This evening I was quite preoccupied with the view from the window because I was half planning to walk home over the New Bridge if the storm held off. The brooding clouds were still there but the wind seemed to have dropped and the low sun was trying hard to force golden rays through. In the end I decided to risk it. What was the worst that could happen?



As it happened the rain didn’t fall and the wind had dropped so I didn’t get blown off the bridge. When I got to the green I was going to have a look at the fire damaged area but fate had other ideas. As I crossed the road I all but bumped into Lottie, one of my Dream Factory colleagues. Lottie is about as incident prone as me. Reading her Facebook posts often has me laughing out loud. Really she should write a book, dramas and disasters just seem to follow her around in the most hilarious way.

We walked together across the green and up Peartree Avenue, catching up, talking about old times. It was a lovely interlude in an otherwise difficult day. Unbelievably we even managed to part company without the heavens opening, the wind blowing us off our feet, a single car driving off the road into us, no meteors falling from the sky, not even a mad old lady accosting us. This is probably a miracle.

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Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

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