Is the question semi-permanently on my mind this week. I seem to have more interruptions than time at my desk, but perhaps it just feels that way.
The news is still busy, this week the badgers got knocked off the top spot by the very real threat posed by Chalara dieback to the British ash tree stock after infected trees were found in established woodland in East Anglia. The jobs front has been a little busier since I came back from 'holiday'.
I say holiday but my much needed RnR had to take a back seat when office dogsbody CMH did a wonderful impression of a felled tree after tangling her feet in the dogs bed and upon impact with the hard floor (having carefully missed the lovely soft dog bed) cracked her pelvis. After a day in A&E she returned shuffling along on a frame with some stonkingly huge painkillers. So last week passed in a haze of fetching and carrying and doing something which I feely admit I'm pretty useless at - being a nurse. I'm doing better this week as she's now more mobile and is into the physio - now, there I excel and am cracking the whip to make sure she does the exercises, "just a little further", "go on push a bit more" and "just one more" - I knew all those years of practice would pay off one day! However, like life on crutches, a frame doesn't allow for the carrying a cup of tea and you're rather slow to the answer the door so I'm getting lots of indoor exercise, which as I watch the hail, snow and sleety freezing rain falling outside doesn't seem so bad. although office dog Hebe is grumbling about her shortage of walks. You know they say it never rains but it pours? Well, in the midst of all our chaotic upheaval the fridge freezer gave up the ghost, a new one has been delivered today along with several cases of wine - I'm not sure how long those will last!
And I promise, one day (soon) I will have a full, normal day in the office without trips for more medicines both human and veterinary, overseeing boiler and aga servicing or taking delivery of large appliances. I have seen lots of wildlife on my various trips around the district, yesterday on our way to Pickering (vets, for Maia) we saw a covey of red-legged partridge, this afternoon on our way to Sleights (doctors, meds for CMH) there were a couple of lovely kestrels. Whilst in the garden last week we had the first of the winter bramblings but only two days previously (on Tuesday 16th) there were two swallows in the field. Yesterday we found the first hibernating tortoiseshell butterfly in the coal shed, looking at today's weather and the overnight forecast which does actually say heavy snow, I think it has the right idea.
Whilst I've been 'on holiday' and officially at work but mostly absent the team have carried on and kept CJS rumbling along in it's usual fashion. So you will receive a copy on Monday, this week it includes the latest CJS Focus which this time is on Water and in association with The Canal and River Trust and is 15 pages long. This week it also has details of November's Work Days and Conservation tasks so you'll be receiving 15 pages with details of 36 new paid posts of which 23 came direct to CJS plus 15 adverts for volunteers. Digital editions are already online.
And now I'm going to try to make a start on the VAT return with the aim of having it completed and submitted by next Wednesday, what do you think the chances are? Pretty slim probably.