You know how we all hate it when the supermarkets start filling the shelves with mince pies and Christmas puddings the moment the August Bank Holiday is over? Well I have a confession to make *hangs head in shame*.

When I was in charge of booking the department Christmas ‘do’, it was necessary to start thinking about it no later than first week of September because at that time there wasn’t much choice at Canary Wharf; it was the Slug & Lettuce or Pret, and the minimalist layout in Pret didn’t exactly lend itself to an extended liberally liquid lunch-hour for 15+ adults. So it was crucial to book something quite early on.

There isn’t the same problem in Lyme Regis, not only is there plenty of choice but there aren’t that many office blocks full of rowdy rabble rowsers looking for somewhere to monopolise for 4 hours.

That’s why I’m only now thinking about booking somewhere and the search has started with the Christmas menu. Fortunately since the digital age, I no longer have to traipse round venues collecting menus; within minutes I had them on my screen. All I have to do now is agree a date and a place with everyone and there’s the rub. Trying to pin people down who flit in and out of the theatre at different times on different days makes this virtually impossible and despite the digital age, my text messages and emails fall into a black ether hole. Unlike the open-plan office where you could just shout and get an answer within seconds, ironically the electronic age on occasion makes communication more challenging.

Talking of my days of working in an office, as the festive season approached, it was not unusual for the boxes and bags of sweets and chocolates to start appearing from around Halloween onwards. Who am I kidding? We also had doughnut Friday and birthday cakes-day and one of our loss adjustors would regularly bring in tins of sweets. So it wasn’t unusual to be consuming vast quantities of confectionary and pastries throughout the day for several weeks on the trot.

Well in the same way I no longer go to the Slug & Lettuce for a liquid lunch, post children, I can no longer devour huge quantities of sweets, and chocolate is a definite no-no. I can’t tell you what a huge blow this was to my life; no more wolfing down a family size bag of Revels or Minstrels whilst watching the Saturday night film and no more sitting eating slice after slice of Terry’s chocolate orange on Christmas Eve. So when Ann Waters (Ben Waters mum) brought in a box of Werther’s toffee selection, whilst I must have seemed a great martyr to resist temptation, after a year of having to restrict my sweet intake (caffeine too for that matter), I now find it quite easy to say ‘no’.

OK, before anyone says anything, the box of chocs currently hiding in the top drawer of the filing cabinet is not my secret stash, they are being shared liberally.

I was going to put a pic of them on Twitter with a caption “All because the lady loved milk chocolates but she can’t eat them anymore” and when I discovered the 140 Twit-limit had been upped to 250, I could have written chapter and verse on my reason for reducing my sweet intake. Twitter seems to have become the confessional box for all admissions, outpouring of emotions and rants, that and Donald Trump’s utter Twitter-twaddle.

But moving away from the illiterate and banal to some talented orators, I took part in the Bridport Literary Festival on Saturday. I had volunteered to help with the Chris Riddell event and was put on the ticket selling/collection station. It was all very straight forward and Chris really does have an exceptional  talent for drawing. I hadn’t planned to stay on after this but found myself back again on the same station, this time for James Lovelock. I hadn’t let on to my partner where I worked and therefore had some knowledge of the way things turn out, so when there was a bit of confusion over the start time combined with masses of people all coming in at once, I remained unphased by it all and carried on regardless.

Anyway, due to my extended festival volunteering, I ended up with only a short time left on my parking ticket so I quickly raced to the butcher and supermarket. I couldn’t help but notice the shelves that had been stacked 10-deep in boxes of reduced price Christmas crackers just two days prior were now looking somewhat bereft. But then I guess there are only 43 sleeps until Christmas, best get on and book that table then.

The firm’s Christmas ‘do’, some Werther’s toffees and Twitter word limit increases

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