I’m back. Feels like I haven’t written anything for my blog in ages. Perhaps because I’ve been a bit busy? My neighbours think I’m a hologram, my friend has popped in to check on my flat more often than I’ve been there myself, and I’ve fastened my British Airways seatbelt more times than my Audi one. If I thought my year to date has been busy, the past few weeks have been chocker!
Let’s go back to early October and a colleague at work asks me a rhetorical question… you like travelling, don’t you? Of course I do (the world’s a big place and, whilst I love York, I’m sure there are other amazing places to see and exciting things to do!) When I took this job three years ago, I expected there’d be a bit of travel involved, as it’s a European role. So when a work project needs someone to visit five countries in three weeks, to deliver workshops to the European Sales, Implementation and Delivery teams, I’m all packed and ready to go quicker than a McLaren 5-wheel pitstop.
Week one: Italy and Spain.
After work on Monday night, I fly out of T5 to Linate airport in Milan, deliver a workshop on Tuesday, run into half the Xerox Europe team in the hotel bar Tuesday night (logical justification for ordering a bottle rather than a glass), before flying out of Malpensa to Madrid on Wednesday, delivering the workshop to the Spanish team on Thursday, before flying back into Heathrow late on Thursday night. Unbelievably tiring, but crazy, exciting, fast-paced, rewarding and great fun!
Week two: Germany.
Having arrived home around lunchtime on Friday, I have just Saturday as my weekend, to unpack, do my washing, pack again, clean the bathroom (not quite sure why, given that I’ve hardly used it for the past two weeks, but it feels like it needed doing), and watch Skyfall (this is a necessity: I suspect M will revoke my 00 status if I leave the country again without first seeing the new Bond movie). So all of the above ticked-off, I head back to the airport, this time Leeds Bradford – ah my beloved Yorkshire Airlines – and head off to Dusseldorf.
On my return on Tuesday night, I pretty much collapse into bed. Wednesday morning, I make a rare visit to the Leeds office (where I actually have a desk). I’m welcomed by the usual Yorkshire sarcasm …who are you again?… pay my share into the tea kitty (I’m hardly out of the lift and Helen’s there with her spreadsheet, no surprise to guess she works in Finance), sign a birthday card (there’s always at least one doing the rounds) and receive a text / photo from Fleur to say she’s finally given birth (I’m sure she was only a few months gone when I was last here?) I manage to clear my email backlog and get myself home for about 8pm, just in time to unpack, do my washing, reassure my neighbours it’s really me, clean the bathroom, pack again and get to bed about 11pm, alarm set for 4:15 *ouch*.
And I wake up bang on time – at 2.30. You know when you’re so wide awake, that you just know if you go back to sleep, you’ll be rubbish when the alarm eventually goes off… So I decide to get up, I rattle off another quick hour of email and hop in the car down to London. Come 3pm, I’m exhausted, of course, so Karen sends me out on an errand to get some fresh air. I come back bearing M&S finest biscuits and a new lease of energy, due in the greater part, I’m sure, to the realisation that tomorrow I have a day off! Hurrah! So what am I doing on said day’s leave? Yes, I’m getting on a plane…