>Christmas on the menu

> It’s a quiet time at work this week. We have Christmas on the menu in the canteen and lots of people have either started their holiday or are winding down to it.

Over the next week it will get more and more hushed and subdued here. It’s a very academic, scientific environment anyway so is already quite quiet.

On top of this, though, we also have the news about our plant up at Teesside closing. This was the news that broke on the day I had my feeling of doom and gloom. This has also taken the shine from the season for many.

I’m working up to Christmas Eve this year, although we often get sent home early. On Monday I have to take my car in to have the bumper repaired following my little dink a few weeks ago. I’m getting a hire car but if it’s huge, I’ll be working from home on the Tuesday. I’m hoping they only have it for a couple of days as I’m gatecrashing my sister in Leicestershire on Christmas Day, just for the day, and I’d be happier driving my own car. I won’t be back in work until the new year, Tuesday 5 January.

Next year I’m looking forward to possibly 3 holidays – 1 writing weekend, either a writing week or a walking week, and Christmas in Canada. I also want to get at least one house job done, well 2. I want to get the lower stones repointed front and back (I’m getting too many pet slugs in the living room), and I want the outside of the house painted. Either brilliant white or daffodil yellow. I’ll be doing all of this without credit so will have to … [whispers] save up … BUT, if I don’t save, I don’t get. Simple as.

I’ll be working on my goals and resolutions over the holiday. I slipped by the wayside this year, but already my targets include:

  • write at least 1 article per month
  • write at least 1 short story per month
  • write at least 1 chapter of a novel per month
  • write at least 1 filler per month
  • enter at least 1 writing competition per quarter
  • complete at least 1 non-fiction full-length book
  • complete at least 1 full-length novel
  • produce 4 magazines
  • get started on departmental brochures
  • launch new website
  • go for at least 1 walk per month

And this before I even think about it. Notice there are no “sell” words here, as that is technically beyond my control. Some may think I’m lowering the bar slightly, but I’ll review it every 3 months and increase (or decrease) it to suit.

Let me know if anyone found any of my ideas giveaways useful or inspiring.

Yesterday I finally got my domestic Christmas cards written and posted, so there’s another job jobbed. I also planned a few short walks over the coming weeks.

Today’s picture came from the BBC.