I put up my out-of-office message at about 12:30 yesterday, and ducked out soon after that. I won’t see my coworker until September 10th… and I won’t see my boss until at least the end of October, because she’s having spinal fusion surgery. I feel a little bad for my coworker, who is going to have to hold down the fort without both of us, but I’m not concerned about her ability to manage. She’ll be fine.

I’d intended to stay at work longer, but I just couldn’t make myself do it. Yesterday was a slog, and once I’d cleaned up my desk, done my timesheets, sent out instructions and talked people through things that might need doing while I”m gone… what else was there? I wasn’t going to start anything new.

So it was an early start to my month of freedom, and I’m glad for it. The wind was incredible, yesterday, to the point where there were yachts beached sideways down at Manly, and bits of roof flying away. The long, windy road up through the national park that I have to take to leave my workplace was covered in branches and debris. I was actually a little worried about anything bigger coming down.

I spent most of the afternoon curled up in bed with my laptop, a good book, and the electric blanket on. I have no regrets.

Tonight, in what will count as an official start to my holidays I guess, we’re off to see David Attenborough talk at the State Theatre. I’ve been looking forward to this for months: when we bought the tickets it was still a long, long way away, especially because I knew it coincided with holiday plans. This morning, Rohan and I will go up to our usual breakfast place and have our last meal there for four+ weeks.

Thinking of things in those terms is strange.

When I bought my coffee yesterday morning, the barista and I had a conversation about the fact that I never use a loyalty card; I admitted that I always forget about them. He picked up a new one and calmly marked off all the squares in one row, and then several in the next as well, meaning I have a free coffee waiting for me, and if I’m good at remembering, another one soon.

Except it won’t be soon, because I won’t be back for four weeks. This occurred to me only later, and I felt guilty. This guy remembers me and my order, says hello every time, and generally makes me feel like a regular (which I guess I am), and just did something really nice… and now I’m going to not show up for weeks and weeks. Whoops.

I now have a few days to get myself ready for this trip. I want to clean the house – it needs it, and there’s nothing worse than coming home jet lagged and exhausted to a messy/dirty house. I also need to sort through all the bookings I’ve made and print things off. And make sure we have everything we need. And…

I know most of it won’t take anywhere near as long as I feel like it will, and I’ll have plenty of time, but I am unquestionably relieved to have a few days in which to get it done.

In the meantime, I have also made a number of purchases and had them shipped off to my friend Amy’s place. I love free shipping. I love shopping on Amazon.

I am going to be so broke.

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