Today is the Last Day of the year. Goodbye and good riddance to a lousy one for us.
It got me thinking to a number of ‘Last Days’ I’ve experienced.
I suppose the first Last Day I can remember was the day we moved out of the council house I was born in. Except when I woke up that morning, I didn’t know it was going to be our last day, and neither did anyone else.
The way it came about was the people who were moving in arrived a few days early and had nowhere else to go. The woman was in her ninth month of pregnancy, there were 3 other children, and the husband was frantic. The council apparently weren’t much help saying alternative accommodation wasn’t available and we were expected to move out as technically we were no longer council tenants. So Dad made a phone call.
A friend of the family ran a furniture removal business, so when I came home from school, our furniture was going out of the front door as the new people moved in at the back. It must have looked pretty bizarre, but everything went pretty well and we were in our new house by 9pm. The water was connected but we had no gas or electricity, so had fish and chips for supper and went to bed by candlelight. Everything was connected the following day. Luckily, there were only a couple of days to go to the end of term, so Dad took us to and from school. We lived in that house for 7 years.
The next significant ‘Last Day’ after that was the last day of school EVER. Yippee. Then the last day of my first job, and the last day as a single person.
I had my hen party two nights before my wedding day actually. My friend was staying over at my parents, and we caught the bus to meet up with a group of other friends, both male and female, at one of the nightclubs in town. My drink of the time was Cinzano and lemonade (very popular in the 70s, with Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter doing the comic ad compaign). I had a fabulous night, and two of my regular bank customers joined us, taking my friend and I out for pizza after the club closed. They dropped us off home at 4am, and I was up again at 7, none the worse for my night on the town.I collected my wedding dress at 8.45 and the cake at 9.30. Friday trickled by and I had an early night, doing all the feminine things ready for my wedding the following day. In hindsight, when my Dad asked me at 5 to 2 in the afternoon if I still wanted to go, I should have said ‘No’.
Last day of my marriage, last day of another job, and last day (again) in the parental home before spreading my wings and leaving the area for eight years.
A lot happened in those eight years, not all good, but I grew up. My attitudes changed and I learned by my mistakes, so there was another last day when I left and returned to my home town.
I was out of work for just 3 days, and landed a job with an international company, working my way up to the position of a financial analyst until redundancy 13 years later. Now there was a last day to remember!
There had been no personal collections, just individual Wish You Well cards as the whole of the department was being relocated. Only one of us was going with the job, though this was not a boss.
It started with breakfast for 12 at the local pub/restaurant where we used to have our staff meetings in the morning once a month over bacon and eggs (we paid for our own on those days). We got into work for 9am, checked our emails, made sure everything was up to date in preparation for the changeover, and started to say our goodbyes to everyone in the building. By 10.45, we were handing in our ID badges and putting on our coats ready to walk down to one of the poshest restaurants in the area for our farewell dinner. There was over 200 years ‘company experience’ leaving that day, and The Big Boss who was joining us from Head Office had ordered several bottles of champagne to go with our meal. The table had been booked for midday, so if the men fancied nipping into one or two of the several pubs on the way, there was plenty of time. Our meal was delicious, four courses plus liqueur coffees. We left around 4pm, just in time to get back to the office, recheck for messages before switching off our machines, and collect our personal belongings for the last time. Some of my colleagues made their way to a local Curry house, fully intending to continue their farewells in style (courtesy of the company of course). What a day.
They say tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life, so as 2013 draws to a close, remember on the other side of midnight is the start of a New Year.