Returning to the office after any time away is always trying. The numerous phone messages to pick up, the pages of email to sift through, the post to open; all that catching up before you even start on the actual work in hand. Returning in January also involves many teetering boxes of Christmas decorations to negotiate a pathway through, abandoned packets of mince pies and other festive ephemera strewn across every surface. All of this is manageable. It is expected. I know where I am with it. What has really thrown me this week is the fact that my diary is not in its usual position on the desk. It is the source of all information, the first thing I look at when I sit down. It is where I write my to-do lists and reminders. Foolishly I believed good old ink and paper was a safer bet than the electronic interweb for storing such things. Oblivious to power cuts, immune to viruses, it even repels tea and biscuit crumbs more efficiently. And yet, here I am, with my diary 75 miles away. I never foresaw this turn of events.
This is what happens when you let your office be used as a dressing room by Tudor minstrels. They accidentally pack your desk diary along with their books and music and return to their own place and time.
I am hopeful that, even as I type, the Royal Mail is bringing my diary back to me with all speed. Until it arrives I am in a state of office limbo. Do I have any appointments today? Meetings? Training days? Did I arrange anything? I simply don’t know.