You know times are tough in your workplace when for the first time in my memory of it, no one's had the energy or the spirit to organise a sweep for the Melbourne Cup. Many's the year I've crowded round a TV or radio at work with a glass of warm champagne and cheered on a horse I'd never heard of till a minute before. And often have I marvelled at those folk who had actually placed real bets. Even last year, in the first flush of collegiality in our new school, we had so many people that we ran about four sweeps, I think.
But of course, it's the same loyal hard-working office staff who run the sweep, and this year, after dramatic shifts and changes and instabilities and re-organised workloads and grumpy academic staff, they've had enough. And I must say, I don't blame them. There was even talk of not having a Christmas party for the same reason, so I have rounded up a few folk with a commitment to both organise and clean up after a party next month.
It's the day before I get on a plane, so it's the usual crazy rounds of laundry, tidying up loose ends in the office, getting my photo taken for the Canberra awards ceremony on the 25th, and now coming home. I watched the race with Paul and Joel. Paul was the bookie, and stood to lose a lot of money if any of my horses (Nom de Jeu, Barbaricus and Moatize [ridden by Clare Lindop]) had won. None of them did, of course. But the Reserve Bank has dropped interest rates by .75%, so that is better than a win!
So now it's time to finish the Ned Kelly paper, sort out the powerpoints, finish a reference and some revisions to an article and do the ironing, and then the packing, meanwhile drinking lots of water to hydrate in preparation for the flight to LA, flying into Obama time, I hope.
I'm off to lovely Riverside, in California, first, then on to Wooster, outside Cleveland, for some quality writing (and tennis) time with Tom. And then a day in LA on the way back: I'm just getting too old for those 27 hour trips without a night in a bed in between...