Monday 15 December 2014

No more trips this year!!

I'm all done! No more trips for the whole rest of the year! I know, how will I cope? Well, cabin fever is a distinct possibility, but I have a solid seven days at work before my next break, or four if you count going to Edinburgh. The good news is that this means that I will be birding Wanstead comprehensively and continuously. Between my house and the bus stop mostly, but I am intrigued by the news of a Water Rail on the Shoulder of Mutton Pond. Will I go and have a look for it? Well, only time will tell I suppose. Work hard play hard seems to be the order of the day, and that unfortunately leaves little time for the patch. Hopefully I'll redress the balance a little next year, but Heathrow is only an hour and a bit away.....

So what has been happening? Well, Tenerife happened, which was very pleasant, and as you may have seen, so did Morocco. Both very productive little trips, with birds way better than here. Mind you, this time last year, or perhaps it was during the first winter season, not sure, I was fully engrossed in some amazing UK birds, including a fabulously showy Black-bellied Dipper and a local Slavonian Grebe. That's the kind of thing I'd like to do more of, but finding those types of birds is a rare chance indeed. Hopefully we'll get a cold snap, a bit of a freeze up, and I'll be able to get up close and personal with some wildfowl. I like winter, especially the cold clear days where you get decent light and the temperature keeps most other people indoors. Crossing my fingers. 

But even without that prospect, I remain pretty stacked. Last week was three Christmas parties on the trot, two in London on Wednesday and Thursday, with another in Glasgow on Friday. It's not just that I'm wildly popular, it's also because I'm the boss and they have to invite me. Not really. Well, I am in charge of a few people as befits a man of my advanced years, but rather it's a chance for the department to let their hair down and have a rare evening not talking about work. Even if we did talk about work most of the time. A riotous affair Thursday, obviously, culminating in a 1am (I know how to live, me) arrival home and an angry wife. Angry wife again, as this was preceded by the East London Birders Drinks, with typical levels of stupidity, and flying hot towels. We really are the Wild Bunch, and I can confirm that Mrs L does not appreciate cold drunken men invading lovely warm beds in the small hours. Even if they're me! Friday night was in Glasgow, but by then I was a shadow of my former self and didn't even make it 'til midnight. Partly this was to do with a Chicken Tikka Pakora of such immense proportions that I could barely move after eating it, but mainly it was to do with being totally shattered. I am not as young as I used to be, and this shows no signs of improving. 

Luckily I had a quiet weekend back in London as a fully-fledged domestic goddess before gratefully hitting Canary Wharf again this morning, as much for a rest as anything else. Apart from not getting home until gone 8am and then spending half an hour picking things up of the floor, as is typical of an evening. I particularly want to let people know how much I enjoy stacking the dishwasher after an 11 hour day at work, it really takes the edge off my stress levels - wonderfully therapeutic. What I am really trying to say is that I am in dire need of a holiday.

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