penultimate friday – first published 13 december 2013

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Back in December 2013, Friday 13th was my penultimate Friday in the penthouse suite and it had me all pensive and out of sorts. The brooding morning sky  matched my mood. As I came round the corner onto the Main Road I realised the last of the leaves have fallen from the big tree across the road. There seemed to be something very sad and final about that for some reason.

13 December 2013

Commando finished for Christmas last night and I decided to go into work extra early so I could come home early. Even so, I dragged my feet a little as I walked past the park, slightly reluctant to get to an office awash with boxes being packed and no real work to do. Most of the park trees are bare now, twisted branches dark against the grey clouds like blown ink drawings. The sky had a curious layered look, grey, blue, white, behind the naked branches and I stopped several times to take photos between the traffic.

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As I rounded the corner the office building, towering into the grizzly sky, had a foreboding look, very Friday 13th indeed. When I went inside I’m pretty sure the security guard was the only other person in the whole place. On the fourteenth floor I was definitely alone. Noel, who normally arrives at the crack of dawn to avoid the rush hour, was off today and our office was locked. Luckily I have the combination to the door entry stored on my phone so I was able to get in but it was quite spooky entering a dark, empty office.

Still, it did give me the opportunity to take photos out of the windows without anyone making any comments. There’s one window I never normally get to look out of or take photos from, the window facing the New Bridge. The COO’s office looks out from that side of the building and there is a kind of patio, open to the sky above but with a wall of toughened glass to stop people falling, or jumping I guess. Once upon a time this whole building belonged to P&O and our floor really was the penthouse. There was a bar up in the mezzanine and we still have the wonderful wooden flooring of the dance floor. I suppose, when dancers got too hot, they could go out onto the patio to cool down and look at the views. Today I pushed my phone up against the glass between the wire mesh that runs through it, and took some photos. This was the view Commando liked best when he came to the office because it looks out over the area where he grew up.

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After that I went inside and looked out over the demolition site. It seems a shame that we will never get to see it completely demolished or the new supermarket being built. Now that really would have been interesting. Still, moving as far as I could to my right, I could see over the park where I’d just walked and even spot the dome of the corner coffee shop. Funny how everything looks so different from up here.

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There was just one more photo, out over the docks with the spire of St Michaels church, the Holyrood estate and all the ships coming and going. Then I sat down and checked my emails. There were a few little things to deal with but nothing much. Alice rang from the Frozen North just after nine so I had someone to talk to for a while but, by nine thirty, I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was ever going to turn up.

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The old COO arrived a little before ten, along with Lisa, who had only just returned from maternity leave when we were told we were being made redundant. Eventually Anika arrived too and that was it, just us four. The rest of the day was all about putting documents into shredding bags and packing things up. The place is littered with empty boxes and piles of things. It doesn’t look like our office any more.

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Marie

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

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