17 September

Leaving early

So many people travel home for Christmas that you’re unlikely to get a discount fare around 25 December. In fact, you’re unlikely to get a fare at all unless you book early.

So if you’ve got somewhere to go and you can’t get there under your own steam, make your plans soon and buy your tickets promptly – maybe even today. (And don’t volunteer to bring the Christmas crackers if you’re flying home: they’re not allowed on planes.)[1]

Since many people want to take leave over Christmas, this is worth planning in advance too.[2] There are plenty of workplaces where the early bird gets the worm so putting in your leave request now could ensure you get the days you want.

17 sep 2016.jpg
Christmas Assortment
(left to right, top to bottom)
Fruit and nut
Rum truffle
Brandy custard
Plum pudding
Cranberry sauce
Honeyed carrots
Minted peas
Roast potato
Turkey ripple
Holly berry
Tinsel cluster
Angel fluff

Wendy rang me up quite late last night. She’d just got back from a surprise event that Gertruda had pressed the whole family to attend, which turned out to be the unveiling of the plans for the new Gertruda Rukowski wing at the nursing home in which her friend Mrs Kowalski resides. Wendy said that the facilities will be state of the art and the architect had done a good job of making it a really attractive building, inside and out.

“I presume that cost quite a few Arkleys,” I said. “Does she have enough cash left for groceries?”

“She’s still loaded,” said Wendy. “The point of financing it with her least favourite jewels and paintings was so that she didn’t have to sell any investments and didn’t lose any income. And an emerald or two would have gone into the stipulation that there be Polish-speaking staff on every shift. She told Don that Mrs Kowalski was becoming forgetful, but she didn’t mention that what Mrs Kowalski was forgetting was her English.”

“So she’s building a nursing home wing to help her friend? That’s very generous indeed.”

“Mrs Kowalski has done well out of this,” agreed Wendy, “but this is all about Gertruda: she’s afraid she’ll forget her own English so this wing is her insurance policy.”

“Then it’s a selfish act that benefits others,” I said. “That’s still pretty good.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” said Wendy. “You haven’t missed out on a diamond brooch and a Fred Williams.”

[1] I am clearly not a criminal mastermind because I do not have a clue how you could blow up a plane with a dozen crackers. The worst thing I could do with them is to read bad knock-knocks to the pilots, but I think they’d be able to withstand that.

[2] This will not be an issue for you if you work in a field with a Christmas shutdown, like most of the construction industry, but it could be a problem if your job ramps up at Christmas, like anything retail. (And if you work as a department store Santa, you can count on working right up to Christmas Eve regardless.)

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