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If you’re really lucky …

December 14, 2009

I’ve had a rotten day.

It began with me waking from a nightmare during which I appeared to admit leaving a kitchen knife in the liver of Suffolk pal Clare. Yanky pal Clyde seemed supportive when I justified my actions during the nightmare, but still I woke feeling unnerved.

Then I got a call from my mother asking me to confirm my Santa List.

Then I read this story on the Guardian website. As daily to-do lists go, this reminder was as inevitable as it was unpleasant.

Website launch days should – in theory – be a straightforward affair. There’s hardly anything which can go wrong after all. And nor should there be given that the actual process of launching was carried long before this morning.

Even so, there’s always a small but intense amount of interaction which has to be endured during a press launch. It’s just one of those things, I thought to myself around about a quarter of the way through the day which just so happened to coiincide with my recollection of the last relatively high-profile website launch I was involved in then. I recall suffering from intolerable neck and lower back pain then just as I do this evening.

Daylight passed approximately five hours after the plumber finished his necessary maintenance. The house was toasty warm all day long, something the cats appreciated. By evening, a day of frantic emails, firefighting and various investigations had just about finished me off. Yes, website launches may not necessarily seem like a lot of work but they are exhausting.

That’s why today – the launch of the BBC’s College of Journalism website – will forever be intertwined with the production of me and the Significant Other’s Christmas cards for 2009. Printing, folding, sticking and trimming provided exactly the kind of therapeutic escapism I didn’t realise I needed.

Forty-three cards now sit on the pastry table in the kitchen waiting to be posted. I’m not even sure whether people really care to receive a Christmas card now. Maybe it’s a wasted process. Maybe it’s just emails and tweets, instant messages or Skype calls.

No matter. What’s important right now is the three hours escape I’ve had doing something as fundamentally dull yet pleasurable as making Christmas cards. It provided the time to unwind, an opportunity to remind myself of what else was going on in the world.

The picture was taken by Flickr User AceDiscovery (follow the irritatingly talented Adrian Murphy on Twitter here) and is used under the Creative Commons License which in turn included a payment to the Terrence Higgins Trust.

And if you’re really lucky, you might be one of the forty-three recipients. If you’re not you’ll receive cordial seasonal greetings. And if you don’t you can be assured you’re not one of those special people. And if you’re one of those, you’re listed in my special black book.

Yes. That’s right.

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