I'm supposed to be doing some more work for the Met next week. The people in charge of assigning said work are highly unlikely to get their collective act together and sort out my duties before next week, and meanwhile I have nothing to do. I hope to be told I can fill in my full hours on my timesheet and slope discreetly off. In fact, if there is any justice in the world I should be allowed to fill in my timesheet till Friday and devote the rest of the week to sleep and Christmas shopping, since the job was scheduled to take over a month and I have completed it in three weeks, one day and four hours. No such luck. I am told to take a lunchbreak.
Now I know that no new work is going to materialise magically in the next hour, and I will be mooching uselessly around Holborn in the cold and the high probability of being sent home when I get back from lunch. Humph.
In fact, it gets better: I return to find the servers are down and no work is being done, and no one is bothering to find out if and when my presence will next be required. I hang around for an hour, reading the copy of That's Life! I have prudently bought over lunch, then protest that this is a ridiculous waste of my time, leave my mobile number in unlikely case of managerial fingers being pulled out, and hit Oxford Street.
If you're finding that festive mood hard to get into, I recommend a trip to your nearest branch of Paperchase. They have more shiny spangly sparkly things than you can shake a mock-snow-encrusted, plastic-hollyberry-studded stick with an artificial robin glued to it at, no bloody annoying Xmas Muzak, and incredibly nice staff. Your Christmas decor will not be complete without a glass poodle hanging from the tree, a couple of pink flocked reindeer and a glittery Jesus. Trust me on this.
John Lewis' Christmas decoration department is a thing of joy, too, though they've craftily made it hard to find by labelling it 'Christmas stationery'. It seems to be the only place in London where you can get Christmas tree lights that don't chase, sing, dance, flicker, oscillate or come in packs of 120.
I was hoping that assembling the artificial tree would be a rich vein of comic tales, but in fact it was dead easy and now looks super, as practically anything does if you put enough lights and baubles on it.
Damn I feel Christmassy. Where's the sherry?