I jobshare with a great girl. We get along well, have common interests (she's got three little boys similar in age to my two children) and all in all it's a successful partnership. She works Mon-Wed, I do Thur-Fri - we hardly ever see each other, it's all phone and email and the occassional work lunch event.
So, last week she sends me an email, 'blah blah I'm having annual leave from 14-21st October, been given a great opportunity to go to Phuket for a holiday with some friends, but my husband's not interested so I'm going to go by myself.'.
I reply, 'I hate you. No cooking things you don't want to eat, no schedule monitoring, no lunch packing, no being the homework gestapo, a bit of sarong shopping, reading a book by the pool, eating thai street food, a beer or two in the evenings, relaxing in the outdoor restaurants. A beach stroll before bed. Uninterrupted sleep-in, or early morning swim, whatever takes your fancy. I hate you. Enjoy yourself'.
She replies, 'I couldn't get on the same flight as my friends, or in the same hotel, but I won't let that ruin the opportunity of such a great deal. So, I'm flying alone and staying across the road in a hotel by myself. I can't beleive I'm going to leave the boys at home!'
I reply 'I still don't feel sorry for you. Nice try sunshine.'
When I went in on Monday for a quick meeting, we had a face to face chat. She says 'I'm going with two couples, one with children. The childless couple have said they don't want to be crowded. The family have said the same. I am feeling a bit like a third wheel, but still it's such a good deal.'
We joked about going together, she said 'why don't you?'
I say 'I couldn't leave my family.... No, not possible... absolutely out of the question... umm, I'd have to get mum to do the school thing, um,... I'll talk to Alan tonight' CONSULTATION
Alan said 'go, you'll love it'
Sister said 'you won't know yourself. Thailand's like an exotic cookery program, you'll love it, especially the food' (can you tell she's just returned from six weeks in gastronomic hell (aka Ireland)?)
Mum said 'do you have to go to tsunami and terrorist riddled Asia? Why can't you go to Noosa instead?'
To this I replied 'so you agree in principle?'
Anyway, it's booked. Paid for. No backing out now.
I am going to Phuket, with a girlfriend, in seven weeks.
Which gives me a whole seven weeks to lose two stone.
And it doesn't sound like such a good idea now, I'm nervous.