It's that time of year again. Lola and Salome have spent the past few days trying to head off the usual Christmas Party Big Drama at Windscale Library and don't seem to be having any better luck this year than usual.
If the staff at the library could just confine themselves to buying in a few cakes and lots of fizzy pop and bedecking the library with bunting and paper chains then it would be a splendid occasion and a jewel in the library calendar.
Unfortunately, it always deteriorates into arguments about who's making the cakes and buns and how much time they can claim back for the doing thereof (which nearly always should be "none" as bought-in's quite adequate for the purpose and we're so short-staffed we can't afford to have people taking half a day off for baking). Of course it's never as easy as that and there's always some point in history where somebody agreed to something or other and this is taken as cast-iron and immoveable custom and practice (whereas doing something like taking the tatty old books off the shelves and replacing them with the new stock that's been boxed up in the staff room since it arrived six months ago is entirely optional).
The backwash from the event always lingers up to the summer holidays. We've only had a couple of weeks' worth of the overture and beginners and already there's talk round here of either having the place subjected to a food inspection or else praying for a power cut.