Regular readers of The Gravel Farm will be aware and probably impressed with both how chock full of great I am and my peerless stoic resilience when it comes to not wanting a fuss to be made.
After all, I keep a blog, which demonstrates exactly how I like to keep things under my hat.
But today is an exception.
Today is Christmas Day.
At the moment, my family are preparing a turkey and trimmings. They are opening presents. They are laughing. They might be arguing. They will have had bucks fizz for breakfast. My little boy is probably weeing himself with excitement about the presents (unless he's been unable to resist opening them, in which case he will, in time honoured tradition, be playing with the boxes and ignoring the toys).
Our pagan heritage is represented by a plastic tree with some lights on it. Our christian predecessors have left us with . . . er . . . Santa, I suppose. Our cultural influences have ensured we buy too much food and alcohol and indulge in some abysmal telly. Mostly though, it's about maybe having a bit of a laugh, chewing some fat, wagging the old chins, but above all getting together.
I'm at work.
*frowniest face evah*
This has never bothered me before. I usually work Christmas, and quite enjoy it to tell the truth.
I work for the ambulance service, primarily on a car on my own rather than a double-personned vehicle, because too many of my colleagues complained about the wandering hands and halitosis. And the roadkill collection. And coming to work in my pyjamas.
On Christmas day, people are generally in a good mood. Most of my calls are not particularly serious (usually slips, trips and chest pain after eating half a turkey) and, if someone needs a paramedic, they're surprisingly pleased to see me, which makes me feel all appreciated.
Even if they only want me for my morphine.
So far I have had . . . a chap who slipped on ice and appears to have fractured his tibia and fibula, a lady who slipped on ice and has fractured her humerus, and a lady who slipped on ice and has hurt her back.
There's a theme developing here, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Hopefully, all of them will be pain free and patched up relatively quickly, with cheerful Yuletide messages scrawled on their plaster casts.
Normally, this is enough for me, and I'm happy to be out and about.
This year, however, things seems a bit more melancholy. Much as I enjoy my job, it occurs to me that I would prefer to be at home.
Working on your own can be a tad lonesome. Last year, I was so desperate for company I drove down a very snowy lane so that people would have to come and dig me out and I could talk at them:
It's more fun on the full size ambulances. You can bring in treats and wear Santa hats which you have to remember to take off before attending a serious car crash for health and safety reasons. Full size ambulances (we don't call them vans because . . . er . . . we just don't, all right) are intrinsically more impressive as well. When showing my little boy the inner workings of ambulances, it wasn't the car he wanted to look at:
He's two now, so he really needs this sort of work experience. It took him a couple of goes to hit the 8-minute response time, but he was good at carrying the bags up the stairs so I'm going to go easy on him for his annual performance review we rigorously have every three or four years.
Still, I finish work at 18.15 hours, Greenwich Meany Time, give or take a late job, so it won't be long before I'm back in the bosom of my family and drinking advocat, whilst wondering why I'm drinking advocat when there's whisky and beer available, so I can't complain.
Well, I can complain. Volubly, in fact. But I won't, because of the aforementioned stoicism I so impressed everyone with earlier.
Instead, as it's Christmas, I shall put up a gratuitous shot of an ambulance on a job. This isn't an ambulancy related blog, because there are better, specific ones out there and I don't need to retread old ground, but forgive me the odd lapse into blue light territory.
I took this one a few months ago at a roll over RTC* while we were waiting for a very excited local farmer to turn the car the right way up with his fork lift and unblock the road:
See that on the car near the rear wheel? That's totally blood that is.
Mine actually. I had a nosebleed.
Anyway, I'd like to wish all of you a very happy, healthy, family and friend filled day,
In fact, I hope you all have a very happy, healthy, family and friend filled year.
After all, Christmas is only one day.
*RTC stands for Road Traffic Collision, the new term for Road Traffic Accident, because apparently there's no such thing as an accident. This car had rolled over but not actually collided with anything, and I don't think the driver meant to do it, so I still think RTA is more appropriate. Still, what do I know?