Good behaviour

We had our monthly meeting today, and I was completely surprised, after announcing the Halloween party, to be presented with the prize of Dave, the Behaviour Iguana. At least, I think he’s called Dave. I was too overcome with amazement to be sure of his name.

Every month, there’s a vote for the person who most exemplifies the company values, and that person gets a small prize (I’ve got two cinema tickets) and Dave gets to sit on their desk. As you can see from the photo, he gets room next to the framed portrait of Mr Horny, the Horniman Museum’s walrus.

I’ve never had a large plastic lizard to sit on my desk for a month before, so I’m really rather pleased with this. I’m not quite sure how much I deserve it: apparently everyone thinks I’m really helpful and caring, whereas in my mind I’m a grumpy misanthrope with a hangdog expression and a tendency for irrational rage provoked by less-than-perfect technology. But then I have been bringing my wife’s cakes to work; if you can’t be nice, at least bring nice food to the office.

Today my wife did a lot of baking, including an exceptional chocolate tart. The tart is quite simple to make: you take a pie base, available in any supermarket here, then whizz together in a blender a couple of eggs, chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon, then pour the mess that produces into the pie base and leave it to set. My wife has a great aversion to buying prepared baked ingredients (like those boxes of premade cake mix that require just an egg to complete them) but in this case the chocolate redeems the base nature of the … base. She only allowed me a single slice of tart while we lolled on the sofa, or I probably would have scoffed the lot.

After the monthly meeting, we had our monthly office drinks. I don’t go to these, because I have a daughter to wrangle, and kind and nice though my colleagues are, there is no greater joy than watching your daughter turn puce as she screams at you. Probably because the universe is three inches to the left of where it needs to be, or something equally important.

I thought bath time would be hell tonight, given her incessant screeching, but once she actually got into the tub she settled down, and demonstrated a new skill, blowing bubbles in the water. We had tried this at her swimming lesson on Saturday and she hadn’t figured out blowing vs sucking, but tonight, after a short demonstration from her parents, she took to it with aplomb. I even tried giving her a harder example, by blowing at several different pitches, and she emulated that much better than I expected. If all goes well, she’ll be a champion bubble blower by the age of 18 and we can retire and live off her winnings.

It’s that, or I try to hang on to the lizard.

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