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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

too keen for my own good and a New Year resolution.

Aaaah, the joys of getting to work over the Christmas/New Year period. From 19th of December to 1st of January my normal work shifts were altered due to the holiday period and the need to stock up the meat and deli cabinets and in my keenness I rather enthusiastically said OK to any changes in my hours.

In brief, I worked seven hours overtime on Sunday 19th to help prepare the huge stock of cheeses needed on the deli. I swear I still smell of blue Stilton after cutting up at least twenty full Stiltons plus all the other cheeses needed. After finishing at midnight I waited around in the freezing cold for a taxi home that didn’t arrive until one o’clock. I was supposed to finish at ten o’clock but there was still loads of cheeses yet to be cut, wrapped and priced up so I stayed on. Outside it was decidedly chilly. Expensively chilly with three drunken youths dancing awkwardly on the frozen fringes. Christmas, a time to be merry and bright and marginally scared. I just wanted be at home in the warm and safe bosum of my living room.

On two separate days before Christmas I was at work for 4am in the morning and worked until 1pm. I was very busy and the time flew by.  Predictably, I fell asleep when I got home after enjoying some dinner with a well deserved glass of wine, or two.

I was off work Christmas Day and Boxing Day and never thought to check on the bus timetables to see how the buses would be running from the 27th of December onwards. Twice during that week I discovered that the 5.35 am number 10 bus wasn’t operating. The first time I waited around (just in case) until about 5.45am. No bus arrived but a big fox passed me by and silently disappeared into the misty graveyard by the bus shelter. It was like being on Nature Watch the tv programme. On that particular day I went back home and did my overdue washing up and caught the 6.29am bus instead and I was still only ten minutes late for work.


The second time the 5.35am bus didn’t arrive was on a very foggy morning and, rather rashly, I decided to walk to the nearest main bus route. This was about a mile and half away across the moors and local golf course. Ten minutes into my power walking exercise I heard a car behind me and stuck my thumb out for a lift. To my utter amazement the car pulled over. I got in and a very kind man called Paul took me to his workplace – a Pizza factory. This factory was situated near the river Trent and I would say that to walk back into the city centre would’ve taken me about fifteen to twenty minutes. After thanking this stranger for the lift, I set off walking again through a slightly dodgy housing estate called The Meadows.

Along my way, and having suffered no drive by shootings, muggings or early morning flashers, I found myself on a familiar tree lined major walkway that I have traversed many a time before. ‘Great news’ thought I.

So, still on this dark and foggy morn, I hot footed it along the half mile route towards the city centre and the bus station to catch my bus to Beeston. It felt pretty good to be out and about so early and being able to walk properly again after my recent visit to the doctors.

Imagine my amusement to find, as I came off the walkway, (and I’d walked now for about half an hour ) that I was bloody well back where I started, by the river Trent!!! I’d just walked round in a big circle!

Gritting my teeth and girding my loins I quickly walked back along the route (the right way) and arrived hot and sweaty at the Broadmarsh bus station where I caught the 6.23am bus to Beeston. I was still early despite all of this rather absurd adventure.

The biggest faux pas that I made over the festive period was agreeing to work New Year’s Day from 8am to 1pm. Yes, quite a short shift I grant you. And time and half pay too. What I didn’t consider in my blithe agreement to work was that there are no buses at all on New Year’s Day AND taxi fares are either double the normal rate or charged at time and a half. New Year’s Day cost me £30 to get to work and back!! Ouch!

New Year’s resolution: ALWAYS check things out in advance. I reckon its beans on toast for the next five weeks, to recover my finances. I will try to vary my blog posts: Beans on toast, beans by toast, beans with white toast, beans with brown toast, toast with beans, just a few beans on a cracker, the day I ran out of beans, etc.


Tim said...

Is it wrong to laugh at your misfortunes?

At least you saw a fox! :)

Karen said...

Oh Phil, I had to laugh just a little about your circular journey. How infuriating it must have been. I did wonder how you would manage to get to work over the Christmas/ New Year period, but you seem to have been very organised, at least to the extent of getting up incredibly early. Pity about the lack of transport on New Years Day though. Have you thought of a bike, of the pedal variety?

I look forward to hearing about your Bean Adventures too.

And I admit that since you started working for Tesco, I've taken more notice of the displays at my local store, on the fish/meat/deli counters - & I can now appreciate all the hard work which goes into creating them.

Gailsman said...

Oh what an adventure you've had, and not a very good one at that. Now if you'd have moved to Beeston, it would have been a doddle for you to get to work. Still you wouldn't have seen the fox or met the pizza boy.

Jean said...

Poor you, public transport is never there when you most need it.

My mum gave me a cookery book that was written in the 1950's and in it was a magnificent recipe for baked bean pie. You fry a few choped rashers of bacon with an onion and mix it with a tin of baked beans. Top with mashed potato and you have a very cheap and tasty dinner. I made it a lot when I was in my twenties and couldn't afford much in the way of meat or proper food. I still make it as a treat or comfort food.

PS Happy New Year !!

Ken Devine said...

I'm sorry, Phil, but that was so funny.
It isn't a bad resolution to have.
I've used that same bus stop by the graveyard in Ruddington. You mentioning it brought back fond memories.

The Quizzical Observer said...

NY day must have been a real trial for you - I'd second Karen's suggestion about a bike. It must be about 7 miles from Ruddington to Beeston? That's not too bad if the weather's half-way OK. And once at the QMC you can drop down to the canal and take the scenic route...

Nick B. said...

If you take stroll down Clifton Road - Clifton Lane - Green Lane into Clifton you might be able to pick up an early NCT 48 into the city.

Cheryl said...

Wow, that's sixty in US dollars! Hope you got time and a half for your day's work. stilton cheese on toast?

PS - love your roll with the punches attitude.

Judith said...

Oooh, that Stilton looks delicious. I just want to endorse what Cheryl says - I admire your attitude.

Phil Lowe said...

Tim and Karen. Laugh away. I enjoy relaying these tales of mis-fortune in an amusing way.

Phil Lowe said...

Karen: At the moment Beeston seems a long way to travel on push bike there and back and as yet I have found no-where safe to leave a bike.