Off the wagon! And it’s only Day 3! I was celebrating, and there was cake involved. This is how it happened.
My son Paddy is in Transition Year. That means he does very little in the way of actual work, but spends lots of time on personal development. Part of Transition Year is to do work experience. They had to find three weeks’ worth of work experience in three different places.
“I know what I’d like,” said Paddy. “One hands-on job with boats, one science job and a fun one.”
This is very Paddy. He lives in a world where everything goes well for him. He deserves it too, as one of the nicest chaps I’ve ever met – he’s gentle, funny and kind. In the end he had really positive experiences with his jobs, and I think that’s worth celebrating.
His first job was in a boatyard, sanding and fixing yachts. He loved it and learned lots (including not to carry a takeaway coffee in his tracksuit bottoms pocket). The guys he worked for, a couple, were super-nice and gave him cake at lunchtime and a pocketful of cash at the end of the week as a thank-you.
The second job was a science job, in a high-tech lens factory. It was arranged by my good friend Lorraine’s husband and Paddy was in a different department every day, being treated really well, and fed a hearty breakfast and lunch, by the kind and clever people who worked there.
“Just study like mad for five years,” said one day’s supervisor, “and you’ll have a brilliant job for the rest of your life.” Paddy really liked that guy.
His third job was an “outdoor” job, and he was very lucky that the dreadful winter ended just as he started. It was in a garden centre close to where we live, and he could cycle up in five minutes.
I asked him if he was enjoying the work.
“Yes,” he said. “I can design my garden in my mind as I work. I love the flowers. I put the nicest flowers at the front so that the company will make more sales. I’m left to my own devices. I really enjoy it.”
No wad of cash nor goodie bag from the garden centre on his last day, but a nice thank-you, and Paddy enjoyed the week thoroughly, if a little stiff and sore the next day.
So what has all this got to do with my falling off the sugar-free wagon?
I decided that celebrating Paddy’s work experience stint and a thank-you to Lorraine’s husband were in order, and so I threw a dinner party in his honour, and invited Lorraine and her family. They came bearing gifts – their beautiful 17-year-old daughter Lily brought a delicious rhubarb cake and Lorraine brought three cakes, one coffee, one rocky road and one chocolate, that were left over from a cake sale she’d been to earlier in the day.
And THAT’S how I fell off the wagon.
This is all that was left over the next day, and I had to sketch it SUPER QUICK before it got snaffled by Paddy and my husband Marcel.
I’d been doing so well…the day before I had gone for a fast walk around the “block” with the dog (2.8 miles) and normally when I get back I am a little peckish. So I chopped up an apple, added some almonds then dusted them with cinnamon…
It was funny painting it before tucking in. It was like I was really “being” with the little stack of fruit and nuts. I could smell the cinnamon and apple, and sketching it felt slow and mindful.
It’s Day 4 now and I’m back on the wagon. Let’s hope I stay on it a bit longer than two days this time…