Sunday, 5 December 2010

On the Other Side of the Fence

When I was but knee-high to a grasshopper, my parents took me with them when they went to see Cats. I don't remember it at all, but afterwards they bought a copy of T.S. Eliot's 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats', the poems the musical is based on. I read it over and over again, from cover to cover. I had my favourites, of course - and the cat I identified with most was The Rum Tum Tugger:

The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:
If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse.
If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat,
If you put him in a flat then he'd rather have a house.
If you set him on a mouse then he only wants a rat,
If you set him on a rat then he'd rather chase a mouse.

Now I'm not all that fussed about chasing rodents, to be honest, but I think I share the Rum Tum Tugger's outlook on life. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence.

It's incredibly annoying - to the extent that I irritate myself. The week before last I found myself, as usual, crammed onto a train at rush hour. I was one of hundreds of people jostling for space, gasping for air, throwing 'don't-even-think-about-it' looks at the man with the suitcase as big as a car wondering whether to attempt boarding. As the train trundled along its underground course, I wanted so badly to be somewhere else. Somewhere quiet, comfortable and, most importantly, stationary. Somewhere I could be on my own with my thoughts.

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long, as I'd booked last week off. Finally I'd have a chance to relax. I'd purposely made as few plans as possible and couldn't wait to do sweet F.A., all day long. When I awoke to find the garden covered in a thick blanket of snow, with more still falling, I thought it couldn't get any better. Snow makes everything seem peaceful, quiet and uncluttered. Everything was perfect; the ideal situation for a week of ultimate relaxation.

Around three hours later, I was bored out of my mind. I had nothing to do but sit in front of the TV, and the TV was annoying me. I wanted to go out, but the snow meant that no trains were running. I even rang the office, to see how everyone was. I was bored shitless, rattling around the house like an old woman whose children have grown up, moved away and don't talk to her anymore. It nearly drove me insane and the phrase 'be careful what you wish for' had never seemed more apt.

But I made it through. The snow came to my aid, in fact - it snowed so heavily that N couldn't get to work, so I had someone to talk at, which alleviated the boredom somewhat. At least for me. Looking back, I can't tell you what I did, it passed in a blur; a blur of complete nothingness that I'm pleased to see the back of. And so, tomorrow I make my long-awaited return to work; to the busy, bustling, exciting place that is London at Christmastime. I can't wait for to be back amid the bright lights, the loud noises, the fast pace. The train delays. Slow-walking people when you're already late. The walk to the station on an icy road. WORK.

I want more time off.


  1. Sounds like you had a case of cabin fever, an ailment I know all too well. At least you have somewhere to go tomorrow!

  2. Hmmm, sounds like you need to do the Karaoke Blog swap! YOU know it's totally show tunes this month! C'monnnnnn

  3. I feel the same on my days off. If I plan too much I feel like I didn't get to relax, if I plan too little I end up wasting my day on my computer.

    I can't win.

    P.S. Have you heard from Lauren?

  4. @ theTsaritsa - I made it to work, and as predicted have had enough. I need to sort this out, this never being happy lark.

    @ Erin - no way, José. I can't sing for shit and I'm far too shy. I hope la belle France is treating you well mon amie.

    @ Allison - exactly what happened to me - fortunately you were on google chat to alleviate some of my boredom!

  5. I'm still jealous that you've had days off :( I don't have days off to look forward to until the 23rd!


  6. I miss days off. Ones where I could actually relax. I had two days off this week, but both were for Doc's appointments in the city, so they took pretty much the entire day.

    I don't have another day off until a few days before Christmas. *sigh*

  7. @ Risha - and now, I'm off until the 4th. I've barely been at work in the last month or two. They've given me a little fob thing so that I can log in at home. Spoilsports.

    @ Tabs - having to take time off to actually do things is also a crying shame. It doesn't seem fair. You see, I can't be pleased.