Marching Onward

Sunrise/sunset: 03:42/21:52 Daylength: 18hr09min

I have the strangest feeling, at the moment, that the river of life is plunging forwards while I am treading water. Everything seems to be happening at speed and I feel as if I’m being carried forward. I’m keeping my head above water and have been doing so for some time, but that is all I have the energy for. It probably sounds horrible, but somehow it isn’t. I am being carried in a direction I want to go, and if I keep treading water, I will get there.

That probably sounds odd or fanciful, but the reality is that I was dragged quite low by the winter and the whole Mr Abusive saga, but I have coped and now things are heading in a better direction. Having lived quite a long time now, I recognise these feelings: though getting older certainly intensifies the tiredness. When I was younger, it would have taken a much longer time to analyse and recover, I think, but I know that this is what life is like. There are ups and downs, and sometimes we have to ride through them.

There has been so much to do at work recently, that there hasn’t been time to do anything but the basic tasks that keep everything ticking over. I think I touched on the number of people who were signed off sick a couple of weeks back, but my two trustworthy and knowledgeable colleagues, Trude and Konstantin, were both on sick leave at the same time and that was in addition to two other colleagues who have been absent for a long time. So over Easter, I was was first in line with responsibility for everything that went on in the abattoir. All the routine tasks that normally are done without me really noticing them, were mine to remember. There were checklists and post-it notes everywhere!

Konstantin unfortunately become sick with Covid during his holiday. He was due to come back on Tuesday, though I hadn’t put him in the rota until Thursday as I thought he might need travelling time; he had driven home to Latvia, rather than flying. On Monday, I had intended to work in the Finnsnes office as I had a dentist’s appointment, but I knew that if any animals had been emergency slaughtered over the weekend, I would likely have to drive to the abattoir to check them as there was nobody else to do it. When the message came in that there were four cattle that had been brought in over the weekend, it became a certainty that I would have to go. Four is the maximum capacity for the room where the carcases are hung, so leaving them wasn’t really an option. Driving to the abattoir and carrying out post mortem controls on four animals would have taken a massive chunk out of my working day.

Imagine my surprise then, when Konstantin’s face appeared on the screen in the Teams meeting first thing in the morning. He had come back a day early! With Konstantin back, he would take the emergency slaughter cattle and any other bits and bobs that aren’t very big or difficult, but nonetheless are time consuming. There were a million things I probably should have caught up on, but having gone to the dentist’s (my teeth are in good order, apparently – very well cleaned!) and seen what a lovely day it was, I decided to take the afternoon off. The picture at the top of the page was taken on my way home. Not that I did much, but it was lovely just to kick back and relax.

And now, with Konstantin and Trude back, I finally have some time on my hands again. By happy coincidence, Mattilsynet have finally got their act together and have completed the training course to become an Official Veterinarian in the abattoir. The abattoir is officially not meant to run without one, so I have been acting as one anyway, but it will be lovely if I can finally qualify! There are suddenly four new modules to get through, most of which I can tackle in between other work, but the last module was a task that was only announced recently. As part of the role, I will perform various annual audits in the abattoir and this year’s is a hygiene audit. Though I’ve passed the auditing exam, I need to observe at least three audits before I can qualify. I’ve been struggling to find any to observe and so, when I saw the task in the last module was to observe a hygiene audit, I was quite worried that I wouldn’t manage it before the August deadline.

Happily I have contacts down in south west Norway, where I used to work part time for Mattilsynet. I contacted my old boss, who sounded very pleased to hear from me. Better still, there is a hygiene audit next week down in Egersund and so, on Monday I am flying down to Stavanger, then taking the train to Egersund, where I will meet up with some of the lovely people I used to work with. It will be spring down there, I think. I’m hoping for some sunshine. I’ve already started looking through some of the paperwork for the audit and I think I’m going to learn a lot.

1 thought on “Marching Onward

  1. That’s the contrast, isn’t it? When we are younger, we recover more quickly physically — but when we are older, we can do a better and quicker job of analyzing and recovering emotionally.

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