This post is taking longer to write than any other because I’ve gone old school with a pen and paper, and will type it up later tonight (it is now 3 days later) to post. Tomorrow will be my final day on placement and I have already exhausted every single item on my to-do list and tied up all loose ends. It feels good to be prepared but the “end” has arrived 48 hours too early and now all I’m left to do is sit here twiddling my thumbs and refresh my inbox every 3 minutes. As I’m not an “official” employee, the IT guys never got round to adding me to the staff email lists, so really the only emails I ever get are the ones from my mentor and the cafeteria menu of the day. Todays menu is roast gammon, and pesto, vegetable and rocket quiche, in case you were wondering.
I return to university for 2 weeks before officially saying goodbye to student life forever and entering the “real” world. Although I’ve spent more time on placement than I have done on campus or in seminars this past year, so I imagine it won’t be all that different. Except, I’ll be getting paid, which will be kind of nice.
You would think running a blog where all I do is talk about myself, I would be comfortable doing it in person, too. But far from it. I shy away from spotlights and prefer to go unnoticed. We have a staff meeting every wednesday and friday morning and I am dreading tomorrows meeting when my departure will be announced – will I be expected to give a speech? God, I hope not. Such a scheduled public and formal declaration of gratitude and bidding of farewell just isn’t me – I need to be caught unaware and off guard otherwise I just become incredibly self conscious and over-rehearsed. Also, I really suck at goodbyes. I plan to personally thank and say goodbye to the handful of colleagues who have made my time enjoyable or who have been supportive (many) but addressing an entire room will send my social anxiety through the roof. I will probably send a plateful of chocolate chip thank-you cookies in my place and a note asking them to help themselves – letting my food do the talking, as usual.
Update: I arrived to work the next day to an email in my inbox from a colleague I won’t get to see on my last day. With words of wisdom, praise and some final pieces of advice, she in no uncertain terms told me she believed in me. Was she trying to make me cry??? When you’re overwhelmed with so much exhaustion and self-doubt and constantly questioning whether you’re doing the right thing, it’s nice to know there’s someone who doesn’t think you’re doing such a shit job and encourages you to keep going.
I did indeed bake (one and a half dozen) cookies for my colleagues and avoided the staff meeting. I met with everyone later in a less formal setting and said my goodbyes. I have since been recovering from exhaustion with plenty of banana ice cream and TV marathons in bed. Celebrations have been postponed till 5th of June, when everything is “official”.
Something that doesn’t take any maintenance is the apricot tree in our back garden. We let mother nature do its thing and every year we are blessed with the most amazing apricots that people (complete strangers) literally walk into our front garden to pick fruit from the branches sticking over the back garden fence. We bag up dozens to distribute amongst our neighbours and enjoy the remainder of apricots for ourselves. So sweet, juicy and tender, I love that feeling of tearing it in half with my bare hands and picking out the stone. These almond and apricot muffins are my new favourites and I enjoyed them for breakfast for several consecutive days. Even if you don’t like apricots, you should make these just for the incredible smells they fill your house with.
- 280g self raising flour
- 160g caster sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 90g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 150ml milk
- ½ tsp almond essence
- 100g almonds, roughly chopped
- 150g apricots, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs. Add the melted butter, milk and almond essence, and mix together. Add the mixture to the dry flour mixture, followed by the almonds and apricots and carefully fold everything together.
- Scoop approx. 2 tbsp of the mixture into each muffin case. Bake in the oven for approx. 25 minutes. Once baked, remove from the tins immediately, and allow to completely cool on a cooling rack.