Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry . . . Friday

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?


  1. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thanks for the entertainment you have provided through the year, and thank you for working on the holiday. You are a good person.

  2. Vlad's working today too, so our Christmas won't officially start until sometime after 3:00 this afternoon. Merry Christmas to you and your family... whenever it gets around to happening!

  3. I'm sorry that you have to work on Christmas Day but when you get home have a snowball for me - I bloody love advocaat. I hope the rest of your festive break is fantastic and relaxing.

    P.S. You blogging on Christmas Day is more of a public service than you working on Christmas Day.

  4. By now, you should be about 20 minutes from leaving work, so enjoy your evening when it happens. Hope you're not working New Year's Eve too. I am feeling the aftereffects of too much curry and not enough TV.

  5. a very merry one to you and yours, jules.
    and while i do enjoy your blog, i must admit that the main reason i keep coming back is the morphine.
    dont feel bad. it IS good writing.

  6. SkylersDad - And to you. Also, I'm one of the bad paramedics, so don't get too carried away with the praise.

    CatLadyLarew - Hope you and yours have a good one, after 3 anyway!

    MLS - I will. I've got three days off now so I'm chuffed and at home! And blogging's what I spent my break doing. I'm dediated me!

    Mdme DeF - At home now! And unfortunately I'm on nights on New Year's, which is a bit of a downer. Hope your curry was nice!

    justsomethoughts - Nice to know my writing seems good to someone off his mammaries on pure heroin. Merry xmas!

  7. Possibly Christmas means more to you now because your little boy is beginning to understand what it means?

    Also, I wish I could wear PJs to work.

    Merry Christmas Jules!

  8. I'm one of those people your lot are usually dragging out from rolled cars etc. (Joe Public) So, like the rest of your readers, thanks! tell me more about your morphine supply... :-)

  9. You're showing your age old man. You're at that time in your life where you stop living and live by watching the kids enjoy ripping the paper you paid for.

  10. Soda and candy - That's exatly it. I'm more excited about him opening his prezzies than me opening mine. Hope your xmas was a good 'un.

    Tempo - You're welcome! Just don't make a habit out of it. Rolling Cars OR morphine.

    U - Thank you my friend.

    Pash - I like to think of it as life experience. Aching knees is life experience right?

  11. here's to 3 lovely days off, sugar! happy day after christmas to all y'all! xooxoxox

  12. Well here is a great glimpse into the life of a favourite blogger.
    Working on Christmas day is a bit of a letdown, but so is standing in lines at the shopping malls and slipping on ice in the parking lot.

    All the best to everyone!

  13. wth is advocaat?

    happy boxing day!


  14. You guys on that side of the pond have great looking ambulances... ambulancae? Anyway, it is good that you are on the job. I, too, liked to work on Christmas back when someone ws foolish enough to employ me. First, I got paid way more than I was worth on a good day. Second, there was less work to do. And, third, there were no bosses around.

    Of course, there was no one else around either because they would all have the day off.

    Happy Boxing Day!

  15. Savvy - Thank you very much. I'm off to watch Sherlok Holmes at the cinema in a bit, taking advantage of having baby sitters.

    Eric - Very true. I would rather be working in an ambulance than on the receiving end of one.

    Miss A - It's an egg based, creamy aloholic drink, favoured by old dears (no offence Mr London Street) and tasting like someone has scoured your mouth with a naked mole rat dunked in paraffin.

    Douglas - Green and luminous yellow is this years black you know? It was a madly busy shift mind, so I'm glad it's over for a few days.

  16. I can't stop imagining what it would be like to be in an RTC and see some guy in a Santa hat come running up to the wreckage. A happy, healthy family- and fun-filled year to you also!

  17. Ana - I expect it adds to an already memorable experience. And thank you!!

    Dr Z - Many thanks. Hope yours was a corker.

  18. Well, I never, what an interesting career you've been keeping under your hat! You must tell us about the bottom injuries you have dealt with. Enjoy your break in the meantime.


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