I finished work on Thursday. Not permanently, you understand, just for our summer holiday. And the whole getting-ready-to-go-on-holiday thing served to remind me again just how different the job I have now is to my old one. When I was a litigation solicitor, I had to start preparing for annual leave about a month in advance - making sure that no court hearings were going to be fixed for the period when I was away, moving the ones I could and trying to anticipate what might happen in one of the 80 or so cases I might be handling at the time. Then I wrote pages and pages of holiday notes summarising what was happening in each case just on the off-chance that one of them might blow up in my absence. I worked late and frantic, trying to make sure as much was done as possible before I left. And then I gave contact details - email and mobile phone - to my staff so they could get hold of me if anything really important happened while I was away.
I didn't have to do any of that this time. True I had to put my phone (on which I receive about 3 calls a week) on "annual leave" mode, put an appropriate "away on annual leave" message on my e-mail and complete my time recording in advance. But then, I just ........left. I had to work very hard not to say "If anything crops up while I am away, you can get hold of me by e-mail at......." because nothing is going to happen that will need anyone's attention while I am gone. And that is quite a nice feeling. A bit weird, but nice.
This morning was the last day of term for the boys, and consisted purely of the Junior School prizegiving. Second Born was the recipient of a merit prize and Husband and I duly clapped like loons when he climbed onto the stage to pick up his award. Granny and Grandad were in the audience too. We then had to spend another 20 minutes clapping an assortment of other children picking up an assortment of other prizes - lots for sports stuff, pipe band, sportsmanship, musical instruments, handwriting and elocution amongst others.
Husband and I wondered how much it would cost to endow one of these prizes (they are all called things like "The Oswald Potterington Prize for Good Citizenship and Spelling"). We fancied doing one to be won by a pupil who had managed to get to Primary 7 without ever winning anything else: The Loth Prize for Minor Under-Achievement. Has a certain ring to it.
The rest of the day was spent (after dropping Husband off at work) pottering about the house, doing laundry (me, not the boys) and eating pies for lunch. I have made a batch of rum truffles because (a) Husband loves them and (b) Husband's sister loves them and since she will be looking after The World's Mangiest Cat for us while we are away, I thought she deserved a wee treat. Husband is still at work finishing off the stuff he has to do which includes printing off all our flight details, itinerary and so on for going to Canada.
We fly down to London on Monday and then to Halifax on Tuesday. We'll be in Canada for Canada Day. Woo hoo! I do however still have to pack for everyone, so I had better start thinking about doing that. In the meantime, to give you something to keep you out of trouble, here's a little quiz. Husband recently received this as a present:
So, what is it? Guesses in the comments. Keep them clean (as far as you can)