The Mothership has summoned me. Or rather, she has tagged me in a (with a? by a?) meme pronounced, I believe, to rhyme with cream. More accurately, a "highlights of 09 meme".
After the first slightly confounded thoughts - how to say anything that would not lead Paranoid Former Employer to issue another hysterical letter citing libel, slander and calling people (nick) names, albeit it very appropriate ones - I figured this is actually right up my street, so to speak. Just think military discipline, business plan and put fingertips to keyboard. Oh yes, and remember the kids.
Here goes. The 2009 monthy highlights, edited version.
January. Survived bizarre flurry of emails advising that I was at risk of being made redundant (yes, this was round 1) that were then hastily retracted. Episode lasted all of 17 minutes. Email sent at 11.04pm, recalled at 11.21pm. Picked up following morning at tube station. With equally absurd text message from my (then) boss "Are you around?" Err, no, I was in bed asleep and my BlackBerry was turned off, you doughnut.
Highlight: profuse apology from (then) company president... somewhat diluted when he subsequently left when our outfit was taken over (see March, below).
February. Blur. School, half term, birthday parties (children's, not adults), first of many sleepovers with multiple children.
Highlight: parents came to recoup their offspring and still recognised them.
March. Employer taken over by B'Stard Company. Promises, great expectations, redundancies, recriminations. Not necessarily in that order.
Highlight: new office location meant commute to work was a mere 30 minutes, door-to-door. Even in peak hour.
April. Easter. Lots of family visiting. Skiing. Widget meltdown in the snow (okay, so maybe I was being a tad too ambitious thinking he would want to take up the sport aged 3 1/2, pushy mother, moi?).
Highlight: going out for birthday celebration - mine.
May. First BBQ of the season. Well, I say 'first', but considering that Other Half will barbeque all year round (including Xmas day), this is perhaps a misnomer. Chelsea Flower Show (inspirational), half term (hooray for holiday clubs), warmer weather.
Highlight: taking Blossom horse-riding for her birthday and being rewarded with the most beautiful smile ever.
June. Work starts to take on a character all of its own, something reminiscent of Star Wars where the good guy actually has other intentions and the bad guy was even worse than you thought and the lightsabres are just what they seem, ie fake light-emanating sticks. The cultish devotion divides the troops and the dissenters are routinely berated. It all assumes a surreal tone. The overriding sensation of having Big Brother watching you grows. Especially when you are told that your emails to clients must be "vetted before they are sent out".... Sorry, what?
Highlight: Kevin. Always a provider of light comic relief.
July. Sinister events on the work front, indicating that the end is nigh, somehow, despite assurances. Start blog.
Highlight: Bjorn Again at Kew Festival of Swing. Absolutely brilliant. As was the hoarse voice the following day.
August. The end is indeed nigh. Notice of redundancy. This time there is no retraction (see January).
Highlight: holiday and being told by Fraught Mummy that blog has been mentioned in The Independent article.
September. Consultation period continues. Despite not being "required to be in the office", I cannot actually work anyway as all access/laptop/email/phone/etc has already been cut off/taken from me. Remember I have children and engage more with them. They display far more enlightenment and intelligence than some former colleagues.
Highlight: getting guest blog spot with Evening Standard and spending time with Widget, my baby cherub, two days a week.
October. Consultation period finishes. Officially redundant. Take on role as secretary of school PTA. Great notes, efficient emails. Forget in my enthusiasm to attend second meeting.
Highlight: best friend's wedding with Blossom (her goddaughter) as flower girl, an absolute fairytale.
November. Bronchitis, laryngitis, flu, snot, dribble, the works. Disgusting. And that was just me. Projectile vomit at 1am courtesy Mr Man was added bonus. Having therefore missed taking part in the Great South Run, on impulse enter self in Henley Triathlon for next June. Am under impression that I have ages to prepare. Yeah, right. So did Noah.
Highlight: back to work on familiar ground, with anticipated (and unfailing) expected reaction from Paranoid Former Employer. Oh, the joys of doing business with professionals (cough cough).
December. Adopt serene approach to the season of festive joy. Survive. Watch Mr Man play under 7s rugby and feel enormous pride in my very fast and agile first-born.
Highlight: reflecting on the past year and recognising the value of family and true friends. And virtual ones.
Thanks Mothership - this has been a true case of verbal you-know-what, but definitely worth it.