Before I begin this post, I need to publicly apologise to the Grounded Dutchman for a post written in anger two days ago, up for two hours and subsequently taken down. I'm sorry I offended you - there were things said on the blog that should not have been put there. I've said this now and will leave it at that.
Yesterday's events showed me just how powerful anger can be.
I had a fight with a friend. I don't fight with people. I'm happy to argue, tiff, row, but I generally don't fight. I rarely raise my voice in anger. In fact, I don't think I've screamed at anybody for well over four years - the last time that happened I was breaking up with a bloke - he hurt me terribly - I screamed t him. It wasn't a pretty sight - I turn into a harpy when I get like this.
Last night, I felt the absolute rage of hatred. The knowledge that I felt deeply wounded by somebody I trust - and it's a feeling I don't want to feel again any time soon.
Looking back, I know how the incident started and I know where it ended up. What I wasn't expecting was the rage that grew inside me as the day went on. It stoked itself every time I looked at my emails. It bubbled away, it stopped me concentrating. By the end of the day all I wanted to do was scream at this person. I had said stop. They kept on going.
It wasn't what was said to me. It was how it was reiterated again and again and again... I heard what was said the first time. It was meant in kindness, but by the third iteration I was battered, bruised and completely worked up. I fought back. The time for keeping the peace was over.
The aftermath of this fight wasn't pretty. I was left a puffy eyed, hyperventilating mess. Worst of all, I was due out at dinner. Making things worse, I had a scheduled visit to the dentist and he was running an hour later. That helped things fester more. There was no way I was going to face my dream group at my favorite restaurant in such a state. There are things you do, there are things you don't. Facing dream group at a social event looking like the Wreck of the Hesperus just wasn't on. So I sat for a while and tried to calm myself down. Maybe I'd pop in later. Maybe not. I wasn't in a state to face people.
A shower, a lie down and a walk around the block and I made my way back across town to meet the girls just in time for dessert.
I've pretty much come to believe that Rusk Restaurant's Halva Ice Cream, Orange Water Syrup, Turkish Delight and Persian Fairy Floss Sundae can fix the most dreadful of problems. If I was to be shot at dawn, this would be on the menu for my last meal. It's all just a bit too divine. This stuff is dessert heaven.
Making it even better, I realised that by the time I got to the restaurant, I hadn't eaten for ten hours so no guilt over the calories!
The strange thing is, for these rather low, lows, came some fantastic moments to follow.
The Brok Piwo Club Christmas party to be precise.
For the last few years this has been a bit of an Tin Can, String and Whistle Institution. It is really just an excuse for a few quiet free beers, some pretzels and Polish Wedding Sausage. This year, as there has been a change of guard, the menu changed a bit. Normal party fare - cheese, chips, bread, dips, olives. And two large plates of fairy bread. For those not from Australia reading this, fairy bread is a rather iconic children's party food. Fresh white bread, butter and hundreds and thousands. Basically it's a mix of carbs and sugar that sends kids crazy.
Personally, I think that fairy bread is the perfect foil for beer - It soaks up the alcohol but it's not too filling.
Bringing out two plates of fairy bread was a pretty naughty thing to do. I work with big, tough engineers. They don't eat fairy bread, especially with beer.... nooooooo. You could see the guys looking around before sneaking up to the plate. It was really rather sweet.
Strangely by the end of the night, it was all gone. Actually all the food was gone, as was most of the beer. It was a great night to catch up with past members and generally stand around the courtyard and chew the fat.
And for the first time in all this saga of redundancy, I got a bit teary. I'm going to miss this part of the company. Running the company's clandestine beer club has kept me sane over the last year. I got some lovely comments from the guys - how it was great that the institution kept running, how I'd kept it going even under the difficulties of the last few months.
But the killer was when I was having a chat to Number One - our Number One member. He's now working for another company, but came back for the night. He shoved a beered up arm around me late in the evening and said, "Pand, what are they going to do without your awesomeness around here? Everybody who meets you loves you. They're stupid to let you go."
I ended up in tears again. These were happier tears than those of the night before.
I think Number One had it a bit wrong. The boys love me here because I supply the beer. Not everybody loves me, but I feel respected most of the time. If people don't like me, so be it. As long as they're civil, that's all that matters.
This little interlude with Number One I'll take with me. It's not often you are let known you're appreciated.