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Wednesday, October 17

Letting Off Steam

I was right. People at work do read this blog. I may not even be trying to be critical and someone who recognises themselves, or thinks they do, will find reason to take it personally. Even now, I'm aware that people I've discussed this blog with may now be reading this, thinking "he's having a go at me again, now". No. Stop. This blog was never about you. It's about how I interact with the world and how I see the world. So, maybe I mention you, and maybe you think you recognise yourself and suddenly go - "shit, I'm on the world wide interweb". That's probably a problem. I'm probably going to try to do it less, but don't worry so much that you're being made a fool of. It's not like that.

Maybe I should write this stuff down privately? Nah... that would never work.

Ok, maybe I should criticise people less? Maybe. Maybe I don't always write the full picture. I don't write about the background level of respect or confidence I have in people, just the peaks and troughs.

Anyway, this comes to mind again as, while we were waiting for our planned afternoon of Karting to begin, someone made a specific reference, by date, to something they'd read on my blog about themselves. The thing is, I barely remember the comment, which suggests that their part in that blog entry was a very small part of the point I was trying to make. Still, if someone reacts in a way I didn't intend, that's still my problem. I think I smoothed things over, though the last few paragraphs could easily have stuffed them up again. Who knows!?

The purpose of standing outside a karting venue in Camberley was to involve ourselves in a departmental event. It was a celebration. It was a reward. It was in the category of "enforced jollity" which I generally abhor. However, I bought into the idea and went along hoping it would be a good time to be had by all involved. There was to be karting in the afternoon, then a trip to a local hotel where we would be doing some drinking and dining. We'd stay the night there. All on the company. That's not bad at all.

I've been karting once before. This was when I worked at my first job. We had a team building sort of an event on the company. All I remember is that I was too fat for the boiler suit and so did it in my jeans and got very dirty. I also remember being good on corners and shit on the straights.

This time round I was still good on corners and shit on straights, but I did fit the boiler suit. I also felt good and had a good time. The only small problem was lunch. The karting centre only provided junk-food and I really didn't want to eat junk food. I reckoned I'd be better off not bothering.

Later on, in the hotel, as I finished the nth glass of wine, I think I regretted that choice.

Back to the event though, we went onto the hotel and I freshened up. I found the iron and my evening was complete. I re-ironed my shirt and felt ready for anything. I spoke with friends on the phone and chilled out. Then we had the drinks.

Guinness on an empty stomach. Not the ideal drink, but it does you good, so fair enoughski.

Hotel restaurant food on an empty stomach - would be a good idea, but they weren't incredibly generous with the portions and I wasn't incredibly keen on judging my wine intake fairly.

Returning to the table empty handed having been told to go away get a guitar and entertain the room... was a bit weird. I think I told a joke and then descended into a general "I love you all, you're my best mates" kind of a speech.... that was a fine moment.

This account gets vague. I remember all the key bits, but I'm not sure I want to recount much more. I'll say that I remember the moment when I knew I'd drunk way too much and so took myself to bed. I also remember the effect of alcohol on a nearly empty stomach and the colour of the vomit I made. I also remember a calm sense of self-supervision as I took myself through the process of being ill and then going off to bed. I looked on myself, as I do on this blog, with a sense of detachment and absurdity. My life is weird. Life is probably weird in general. That's that.

From lunchtime until the evening we were karting on work time. That means I was a professional driver for a few hours... probly.

Although I may have eschewed enforced jollity in the past, I came away from the event with a sense that I knew people around me a bit better and with a sense that a lot of steam had been let off and that the ice had been broken. I hope that's not just a convenient illusion.

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