Baguette days



Given the decidedly appalling weather we have had out here, the very first signs of sunshine returning are enough to tempt people out of their various hiding places on to the public spaces again. Walking down my usual route back to work  – after a quick lunch hour detour into town – I notice the forecourt at the Square is a lot busier than usual. There are people seated on the wooden benches,  others standing in little groups and more , like me, passing through,  all united by the desire to soak up the rare sight of the noon day sun.

I make my way to my baguette place and order the usual – a freshly baked baguette stuffed full with plain chicken, crispy bacon and mozzarella cheese. I add a bag of potato chips and a coke and then join the queue slowly snaking its way towards the till. It is one of the regulars manning it today.

 – I think you not come anymore today, she says. She is Polish, speaks English in a decidedly belaboured manner, and smiles a little too enthusiastically at times.

 – Had things to do in town today. Totally forgot the time, I say shaking my head for emphasis.

 – No sauce for you?  Her tone is flat, almost listless, delivered in that half-question half-statement tone that masks resignation at the fact that I am short changing myself – or so she thinks.

Nah, I reply. You know I like it dry.

 – Your money, four pounds, she says.

I rummage in my wallet, find a five pound note and hand it over to her.  She unlocks the till, finds  two fifty pence coins and hands them over to me.

 – Tada.  That is the one Scottish quirk of language that is default out here. Even she, knows that.  I nod her my reply, grab my stuff and head out the door.

Outside I find a spot on a bench,  settle in to attack my greasy carb fest and soak in the sunshine. Knowing this city, there is no telling when the next opportunity will come.

At the insistence of O.

aberdeen beach

I owe my Saturday afternoon out to the persistence of my friend O. It is 3.30pm when his call comes in. Having taken the luxury of a long weekend off, I have rocked my couch well nigh to extinction, subsisting on NCIS and CSI and re-runs of The District on the television. The bright and sunny day out there has not been enough to lure me out of my comfort zone. He has been holed up for a different reason. Finals on his PhD are coming up thick and fast, and he is grateful for the chance to take a breather.

We head to the city’s Beach resort to catch the sun, watch children play and grab some food. The shore line curves as far as the eye can see in both directions- beautiful golden sand – dotted with people catching the sun.

Food is at the Chinese buffet in town – an assortment of meats, rice, and other servings topped off with tall glass of orange juice. It’s difficult to see that life’s boring in this city, with days like these…

Heatwave Dividends…

Twenty-six degree weather has its perks – especially when one has valid reasons to be within the city centre. Knee length skirts, low necklines, and the occasional sleeveless top are easy on the eye, if not downright encouraging to a mind beaten to senility by spreadsheets and excess coffee. After choosing the worst winter in 20 years to come up to the NorthEast, I can be forgiven for reveling in the warm – almost barmy – weather. Winter was mind numbing, depressing, tiring, and fun sapping. I really wouldn’t be bothered by the excess skin on display, but being stuck in a nearly all male working environment does things to the mind, especially when there is no relief valve to vent it out on in town. I’m so needing to get a holiday men – dang!

The cold March weather

The cold March weather is back, and that with a vengeance. I spoke too soon when I declared summer was here. Temperatures dipped to as low as 3 degrees centigrade today. Taking into account the high winds that accompanied the weather change, it must have felt like it was sub zero at some stage. My friend O and I practically shivered as we tried to grab lunch today. I hear snow even fell in the outskirts of town! More cold weather is forecast for the rest of the week into the weekend.. God help us o.. I’m sooo over the weather!

My 1st quarter performance review is up this week. Its the first test of the recovery, the coming back together of the shattered bits of my life… Hopefully it all goes well… and we can move on……