Well, thanks, folks, for your sage advice on how I should spend my week.
Suggestions of getting away from it all, making the most of The Capital, spending quality Tooting time, and creating something beautiful were all taken on board. Baglady's suggestion that I take time to eat a lot of cake has been taken very seriously indeed.
In fact, I realised that, if I went away, coming home to a still-not-decorated dining room would vex me, and so the decision has been made to stay here and decorate my socks off, and then get a day or two out to do something more ... indulgent. And, Baglady, I'll be taking your advice, and eating cake, cake, cake!!
Thank you also for the one personal message sent, volunteering to keep an eye on me at my leaving drinks on Friday. In fact I was the epitome of sober control and grace.
Clearly that was a lie. I drank white white until it was all but coming out of my ears, and then I drank a little more. I danced in a bar that doesn't have a dance floor. I told a partner, "I bloody love you." I talked a lot (A. LOT.) of shit. Then I drank a bit more wine. And then ... I cried!
I cried! Oh, the shame, the shame! I shed actual tears.
The strange thing is that it wasn't when the most obvious people left.
I've been at that company for nearly six years, and despite that time there were people that I was entirely ambivalent about saying goodbye to. People who I don't much care for, and won't much miss. People who have skimmed past my life without really disturbing the surface of the water. They were not the people who got the teary farewell.
There are also people who have become good friends. As one former team-mate observed, we'll probably have lunch together and actually get to natter far more now than we ever have before. I already have a plan to meet up with four of the girls for dinner in a couple of weeks, and have spoken to a couple of people on the phone. I didn't need to shed any tears about no longer working with these people. They are friends. Good ones. That won't change because I'm working in a different building.
It was the others. There are people who I have really enjoyed working with, and who I've enjoyed the company of. People who, if I found myself sitting next to them at the Christmas party, I'd be happy. People who I've shared a joke with from time to time. People who I'd be quite happy to pop for a drink with after work. But realistically, these people aren't my friends, they are just good colleagues. We have never sent one another Christmas cards, or called one another at the weekend, and we never will. These are people who have been a influence on my life, but who I'm realistic enough to realise I have now said goodbye to.
This is what hit me as I tucked into my ... I don't know ... twentieth or so glass of dry white. I suddenly realised that I was actually saying "goodbye" and not "so long" to some people, and I'm afraid I broke.
I think of the number of times that I've been irritated by the fact that there is ALWAYS a crying girl in a bar at the end of the evening. I'm mortified that, on Friday night, that girl was me.
late season camping
2 weeks ago