White bitsMature

I am being tortured by a chocolate cake. 20 minutes ago I opened the box and picked off all the white chocolate, I was caught half the way through this dubious exercise by Frank, our accountant who was cruising my filing for an invoice. Eyebrows raised he gave me a sort of "Its none of my business but should be you be eating that? I mean you are very overweight already" sort of look. "Its ok" I explained sounding guilty even in my innocence "my friends son is autisitic and cant bear a chocolate cake with white bits on it, they all had white chocolate on in Tesco so I am picking it off". Obviously he was entirely convinced by my (in fact true) explanation and went off to count his own calories downstairs.

Its not been a good year for my waistline – I know that, Frank knows that, the whole effing world knows that I ruminated miserably. Since I returned to office work I seem to have become the incredible expanding woman. Sat on my backside all day tapping at a PC trying (and failing oh so miserably) to avoid the kitchen which seems to be an outlet store for the local bakery – its not easy. Everyone wants you to eat. The icecream van cruising the industrial estate wants you to eat, the pasty man with his cheerless bell wants to you to eat, the happy sandwich lady with the little freebie biscuits just LOVES you to eat and when they arent trying to get you to eat, your own willpower sends you shopping at lunchtime. Small wonder therefore that new supplies of clothes have recently been delivered from my catalogue. If my bank manager finds out he may force me to have gastric banding or remove my overdraft – so I am hiding the expense in my newly opened spare account. Crafty eh?

I sigh and pick my nails. Then pull of that bit of skin hanging next to my thumb and immediately wish I hadnt cos it now hurts. Its 3.45pm and I am starting to lose the will to live. I peek over the top of my screen for signs of life – no hope there. Ed is leaning on his hand and peering at his screen – presumably looking for inspiration – or shopping on ebay. Roger, the neat freak seems to be organising his pen collection, Brian is under the desk, talking in to his headset to one of our dealerships. He says he has a hearing problem, I think you could argue that’s the least of it.

And its raining. Its pouring, the old man is snoring…I catch the chocolate cake in the corner of my eye and wonder if I can cut it in half, remove the centre and reassemble it so well that an autistic boy of 8 would not notice. Hmmn. Or I could just eat the entire cake and buy another one on the way. Hmn. One fifteenth of this cake, says the box, equals 350 calories. That’s……5,250 calories for the entire cake. Three and a half days worth of calorific intake. I could eat that I think. Oh god I wish I were allergic to food.

4.12pm. I check my mobile phone and frown. Its been two days since I sent a text to David and still no reply. I kept it bright and breezy – no pressure, but still no answer. I check my ‘in box’ just in case his response slipped through the net and he has replied all along. Duh, of course not. I am acting like a desparate woman. That’s cos I am. Seven years of being in love with someone who frankly has been shagging you as a sort of hobby is not good for your ego, but lets face it – who is to blame here? Any time I want to give it up I can stop. I toss my phone back in my bag and pull out my nail file.

Now you could be forgiven for thinking that I should be working, and frankly you would be correct. I havent been in my job for long but sorry to say the honeymoon period was over very quickly. Not helped I would like to say (in my own defence) by the crazy salesman who tried to disembowel the fax machine next to my desk with a tyre wrench in a fit of pique in my first week. Followed by lots of hysterical shouting, door slamming and walking out by the Engineering Director in the second. And he, I may add, recruited me. As the Sales Administration Manager of a Motorsport company I expected the job to be exciting, a challenge, glamorous even. No such luck, instead I find myself working with a bunch of petrol heads who think a joke sounds like "so I told him that the petrol coefficient of a radius dial was in adverse cojunction of a dialometer" – cue hysterical giggling from petrol heads and I walk off to eat the rest of the jelly babies in the kitchen. Well woudnt you?


I guess I could do some work. I glance over at my pile of filing – which is starting to block the light from my window. A dead bee hangs upside down from the cobweb outside and beyond it I can see the industrial estate through the driving rain. I wonder, not for the first time, how I ended up here.

I need to pee. Stretching myself back in to shape, I stand and shake my numb left foot. Clumping down the stairs on my numb foot I see Josh pass the foot of the stairs and return to the factory. My stomach flips, I stumble on my numb foot on the stairs. Great, oh that would be really great. To fall and land in a heap at the foot of the only fella who could even remotely be described as cute in the whole company. The toilet is engaged, I squeeze my thighs together and do a little dance, then ponder the very real possibility that I may have to pop in the mens if Laura doesn’t come out soon. I know its Laura in there, as we are the only two women in the company. Why do we women always leave it until we are desparate?

Back at my desk, I examine my phone again, in vain, for a message. An hour to go and I don’t want to work. Its not that I don’t have anything to do, its just that it doesn’t inspire me. I know I was meant for greater things than this, my creative talents are stifled here, I think miserably. I practice a couple of phrases in Spanish in my head, then as I can no longer resist it, open the internet and check out more places in Spain.

Hot haciendas swim before my eyes, rugged spanish mountains tempt me while orange and lemon groves bask in the hot, dry sun. I check my bank account on line, just in case there was a typing error on my last statement, then realise I had better keep dreaming – as that’s all I can afford. I realise that this time last year, was was tanned, slimmer, with a sexy south american accent, the smell of the sea still in my hair and hope of a new beginning lighting my eyes. Dammit. Now I am stuck on an industrial estate in Bicester staring out at the rain with a dead bee and a bunch of loonies for company.

Last year was so different……

The End

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