It was a relatively quiet day as the 4th of January was the deadline date for my current project and we are now hopefully in to a lull whilst the client makes some decisions. There are a few loose ends to be tied and whilst addressing one of these I noted how my world had turned during the past year.
Early in 2010 I became aware of a very senior member of staff at Dante's Nine Circles of Hell. I became aware of him because he used to send legally necessary missives to me and five thousand of my colleagues telling us that 20% of us were to be made redundant. They were neither pleasant or unpleasant mails. Just communications that had to be made as part of a headcount reduction and the associated UK legislation. It was a rough few months and I was one of the lucky ones.
During that process and, in part, as a result of the negative feelings it evoked, I decided to take on a new role at Dante's - pushing another boulder incessantly up the hill - as it were.
The net result of the role change is that this Senior Daemon now e-mails me personally and even bothers to send a "Thank you" when I reply.
----------------------But that wasn't what I had planned to note down today.
The holidays are over and most people are back at work. This means that I can retake my walk and not have to utter a jovial greeting every 400 yards to a bunch of people who I have never seen before and am highly unlikely to see again.
Christmas Holiday walkers ...... its not a crime. I can understand why people would want to take a walk at Christmas. After all, the weather was fantastic and there is nothing like exercise to shift the uncomfortable stuffed feeling that follows a full breakfast, followed by chocolate, incessant nibbles and a colossal turkey dinner.
As I said, its not a crime but I have found that I have become very possessive about my walking routes and strangers are not particularly welcomed. I am not alone in this feeling and other regular walkers feel the same....
...... and that is the peculiar thing. I am quite happy to bump in to other regular walkers but the "Christmas Walkers" are a source of mild irritation. Why is that? I suppose one of the factors is that my fellow Regulars are used to each others dogs and accept the canine chaos that ensues when dogs meet up and perform the obligatory chasing round in circles accompanied by enthusiastic barks. Christmas Walkers, on the other hand are an unknown and I end up frequently calling T&M back and restraining them to avoid startling these "once a year walkers".
As I jot this down I think fondly of Francis who died sadly and unexpectedly at the beginning of 2010. I didn't know her particularly well but we used to meet regularly when walking and she shared this view. She was a vivacious retired nurse who was "mum" to Mungo and Fidey.