Saturday, 1 December 2012
This is the view from my office window. I took this photograph in late October, the tang of wood smoke in the air, the leaves beginning to fall. There were about four days in a row like this and I remember thinking that I must try and take a picture before the weather breaks. It's very picturesque where I work and despite a workload that's teetering on impossible, I still spend quite a bit of time starting out of my window. Dogs on canal boats are one the happiest sights in mid-summer; some of them are so panicked and confused, pacing up and down, whining, others are like "yeah, I do this all the time, I'm totally cool with this moving on water thing, in fact I'm just off to find a gastro pub, do you like my jaunty red scarf?".
Anyway, moving on.
This was the sight last Thursday. Not quite so picturesque.
For the second time in five years I found myself wading around in flood water, trying to save furniture, artwork, booze and paperwork. A dozen or so people consisting of management committee members, Mill staff, district and county council staff and the fire service all stood around in seven inches of canal and river water eating tiny tubs of rapidly defrosting ice cream is an image that will stay with me for a while.
Thanks to the extremely quick reaction of everybody we are reopening on Tuesday. But it has been an odd week. Core staff were moved to an Oxfordshire County Council building in town to undertake the massive admin that such a situation generates. It was so clean and shiny and new. We all stood there on Monday staring at the dishwasher in their staff room like savages discovering fire for the first time. Or my parents looking at my mobile phone ("yes, that's what happens when you touch the screen. What? Who have you accidentally friended?").
Quite aside from all this, I caught a cold. A really bad cold. Unsurprising given that I spent quite a lot of last weekend feeling damp and chilly. So it's a been a weekend of homemade chorizo, red pepper and lentil soup, chocolate, Lemsip, blankets and epic amounts of snot. I have also been making lots and lots of nice things- more on that when I can take some pictures in daylight.