Lunch break at my workplace is a laughable idea in more ways than one. For one thing, it's usually not 'lunch', since we do shift work and what we call 'lunch' falls halfway between whenever we start and whenever we finish. Sometimes this makes it closer to dinner time, sometimes it's closer to breakfast. It's hardly a 'break', either. Those of us who are lucky officially get half an hour off (the only official break that is regularly scheduled in the day, in fact). Once my lunch break was so short that it officially ended before it started, which was a real bugger.
Still, if you're spry and keep an eye on the time, you can stroll down to Errol Street, enjoy a smoothie from a cafe, get a sandwich from the shops, and toddle back to your work desk with minutes to spare. I like to do this as it gets me out of the office and I get a chance to stretch my legs.
Not today, though: Melbourne was officially hotter than hell, and there was no way I was leaving the air conditioned womb of my office. Still, I decided, it was necessary to get as much enjoyment out of my lunch as possible, and so I decided to pack in all the varied enjoyments and delights of my half-hour walk around North Melbourne into the small office space. So at 4.15 PM, I officially notified my colleagues via email that I was checking out and going to lunch.
For the first ten minutes, 4.15 to 4.25, I was of course walking up to Errol Street. This was made somewhat difficult by the fact that I was doing it while seated down, in my chair. And by and large, the walking involved me swinging around occasionally and turning pages in my book, Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees. This was further complicated by the fact that C. was seated at her computer just across from me bashing away at whatever transcript it was they gave her to torment me with.
Not to worry, though. By 4.25 I had arrived at Errol Street and commenced to saunter around the shops, thinking idly what I might get myself for lunch. Well, it wasn't so much 'saunter', as swing around in my chair for another minute or two; and it wasn't so much 'around the shops', as I took my book and toddled off to the office toilet, where I finished off another page. I decided that I didn't really want a large lunch, maybe just a drink with a little something. Perhaps some mocha? Then again, the cappuccinos down Errol Street are pretty good too. But I had my heart set on a mocha, so I took my cup, poured the rest of my jar of Milo into it, and took it into the kitchen where I added milk and boiling water, and stirred. Mocha at its finest! I returned to my chair, and closed my eyes as I enjoyed the culinary delights of Errol Street. In the office.
By that time it had got to about 4.35. It was almost my time to walk back to the office (even though I hadn't left it), but I was still feeling a tad hungry. I decided to get a take away cappuccino from the cafe (instant coffee, with boiling water, and milk!) and - since I had discovered a spare two dollars handy in my top pocket - one of their sweet muffins (a Mars Bar from the sweets machine!) I read another half page of my book, and then sauntered over to the kitchen again and got these things. By the time I got back it was almost time to get back to work, but I did a quick, experienced check of my email and comments on my blog before getting back to the transcripts.
On the whole, lunch at work was a fulfilling experience, and I quite enjoyed my little wander around the office, seeing the sights, and so forth. (Though I don't know whether Red appreciated me wandering past his computer all the time when he was doing work.) Though next time maybe I'll just go down Errol Street again. Even if it is hot. Don't want to get too set in my routines, or anything.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
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