Today I had a day off from work, which for me is a huge event.

I had been looking forward to this day for months, imagining what I would do with all the spare time and how I would treat it as a mini holiday. Perhaps I’d get a haircut and a quiet read in a coffee shop and finally finish The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – if I

had remembered how to read.

Since I left my radio job a couple of weeks ago, within ten hours of coming off air I was on a plane to Dubai working my sweaty socks off for six days. Last time there I spotted a shopping mall with a full size jumbo jet, a five story fish tank in which shoppers can dive to take photos, and a mock up of an operating theatre and law court. This time was even more surprising.

It wasn’t that this mall in the desert had a full size ski slope with a hotel whose balconies opened on to the real snow. No, even more exciting was that this one had a shop for chocolate tasting. Right up my Quality Street!

After the choc fest I then flew back to London and straight in to hosting a conference and then off to Dorset to work till yesterday, so I have not had time to actually change those sweaty socks, never mind relax.

Today was going to be brilliant, full of stuff that I wanted to do for myself, without even a slight whiff of work, or indeed socks. And guess what? I spent the whole day at my desk catching up on paper work.

Working hard is all very well but then invoices have to be written, books balanced, post that’s been lying for months had to be opened, and I discovered from a letter written by my MP that there’s been an election and we have a coalition government. When did that happen? Next they’ll tell me that the Barack Obama guy became president.

If we live in the age of paperless offices and computerised lives, how come my desk is still covered in more paper than a bride with a confetti fetish? Where does it all come from?

Looking at it all I grudgingly might admit I make a rod for my own back by being so anal about keeping accounts and correspondence. I call it professional but you’d call it obsessive. I truly wish I was one of those people who throw stuff in the bin and only worry when the bailiffs knock on the door. A pal of mine is like that and when the debt collectors turned up on his doorstep he greeted them with “Trick Or Treat?” and offered each an orange and a bag of crisps. He never lost his sense of humour though he did lose his car, his house and his wife.

In the pile of paperwork today I found bank statements, grocery bills, receipts, invites to buy plants, discounts on vitamins, a new calendar, the kids’ mobile phone bills, invitations to Christmas parties and a begging letter. I really must remember to send that soon, it took me ages to write.

So that was my day off that never was. I think I’ve forgotten how to relax and just chill, the joy of just slobbing about doing nothing. I need to see a shrink, and I bet next time I’m in Dubai there will be a shopping mall with loads of them open for business.

If they do chocolate tasting as well, I’m making an appointment.

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