The past two weeks have been something of a ‘phony war’. Yes, I’ve accepted redundancy and done my last day in the office but up till now, I’ve been on holiday as a full-time employee. The past two weeks off work have been made up of paid leave, statutory holidays and weekends. My actual redundancy began about half an hour ago. With office hours of 9.30am to 6.00pm, I would, on a normal day, leave the house no later than 9.15. On a normal work day, I would be listening to Radio 4 in the house and continue listening in the car. Today, it’s Melvyn Bragg’s ‘In our Time’. By 9.29am, I’d be in the company car park waiting for a polite, end-of-sentence moment to turn off the car radio and walk into the building.
Today it’s different. At 9.15am, I was still on my cross-trainer, working up a bit of a sweat. I then did 100 bicep curls with a pair of 5Kg dumbells and back on the cross-trainer. The digital display on the radio said 09.29. But I was not in the company car park. At 09.30, a man on the radio said that C.P. Snow had certainly been victimised by F.R. Leavis. And that was it. I didn’t turn the radio off. I continued listening and exercising. I closed my eyes and allowed myself a little indulgence. As former colleagues were sitting down and switching on their computers, I was, in my way, on the move. I was heading into the future; into the unknown.