Two of my esteemed colleagues are currently on sick leave and consequently I have been working full-time rather than part-time. God that is a tiring state of affairs. I don’t know how you full-time workers do it.
Of course the nature of my work does not lead to any kind of mental ease. My shifts usually consist of starting at 3pm, working until 11pm, a sleep period, and then working from 7.30am to 15.30pm. During this 24.5-hour period we don’t get a sniff of fresh air, as breaks must be taken on the premises. Added to that it is usually lone working.
Now the sleep period. Sleeping there is never as easeful as sleeping at home in my own big bed surrounded by furry four-legged creatures. For a start we’re ‘on call’. This means that the Social Services, the Police or the Customers can call on us. On Saturday night the Duty Social Worker called me at 1.30am.
“Would you take….?”
“Aye. We would….”
“Get back to you on that.”
One hour later.
“They’ve decided. Took some persuading. They’ll come.”
“OK. Estimated time of arrival?”
“Half three. Or thereabouts.”
Snap out of dozy mode and spring to full alertness. On duty from 2.30am. Lots to do.
One hour later. Nada. Yet another hour. More nada. It’s now 4.30am. At quarter to five I contact DSW. At five to five he phones back.
“Just heard this myself ten minutes ago that they've decided to go somewhere else.”
Back to bed for continuation of night’s sleep. All two hours of it.
I was grand until about an hour before knocking off time when the energy drained out of me. My last words to my colleague as I departed,
“Don’t think I’ll be walking too far this evening.”
When I got home I found that Bert had filled the fridge full of pink nursery desserts. Mmmm. Sweet. Creamy. Soothing. This leads to a great improvement in my mood, which meant that when he went on to propose a walk I immediately agreed.
So we drove for a bit. But Bert couldn’t decide where we should go so I suggested I’d drive and he pulled in so we could swap. As we both got out Rosie jumped into the front seat and somehow must have activated the central locking system. So there we were outside Dromona Creamery with the dogs locked inside the car and the engine running. And where was the spare key? On my key ring beside the main key stuck in the ignition. And where was my phone? At home. And where was Bert’s Swiss Army Knife? At home. And where were we? Standing like two lemons outside a locked, dog filled, switched on car outside the Dromona Creamery. If this had happened in Harryville we would immediately have been surrounded by hordes of 14 year olds who would have got us into that car in a moment.
I decided to walk home, collect the van and some handy tools for breaking into the car. It was a pretty hazardous walk, as every minute a huge milk-tanker would come hurtling around one of those hairpin bends causing me to leap for the ditch. Then one rather well driven milk-tanker hurtled towards me. I was treated to a huge blast of the horn and a bank of lights flashed at me. Yes dear reader it was Clint. I knew then that our troubles were over. He, of course, thought I was out on one of my walks. But I knew he would happen upon Bert and sort him out. So I kept walking towards home. It’s a jolly nice walk once you get past the hairpin bends bit.
Clint got into the car with the aid of a screwdriver and a long piece of wire. And I thought that he was such a nicely brought up Academy boy.