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Friday, April 25, 2008

As everybody knows, the South Downs just outside Brighton is fertile ground for bird-watching. The bushes are constantly full of people twitching, admiring the dykes, and looking out for plump-breasted birds with meaty thighs. I have it on good authority that there are an awful lot of tits about at this time of year.

What not to wear.And tomorrow is no exception. Professional gropers Trinny and Susannah are heading up the hill in the morning to complete their upcoming TV series, 'The Great British Body', by getting starkers in the Sussex countryside. And they're taking five hundred members of the public with them. The idea is to create two giant 'sculptures' made entirely of naked, writhing bodies (though they might only be writhing in my imagination), to illustrate the beauty of Brits in the buff.

If you're wondering how I know this, it's because one of my pharmacy colleagues wanted to take part. Which says just about everything you need to know about the people I work with. He actually phoned the hotline from work this morning to book his place. Yes, his place. It gets more worrying by the moment.

Sadly though, he won't be appearing naked on national TV, because the producers told him that participants will need to be there from 8am until 6pm, and even the offer of a free lunch (I thought there was no such thing) couldn't persuade him that it was worth standing about on a hill without his pants for ten hours. Personally, it's the thought of spending all day with Trinny and Susannah which would put me off.

As it happens, this discussion of nudity was the last act of a condemned man, because at 1pm today this particular colleague left us for good. He handed in his notice a week after I started, but I'm sure that's just coincidence. He's actually moving to Suffolk next week, so I think it must be the law that for every person they send down here, we have to send back one of the locals. It's like a worker exchange programme. So having left Shotley Gate the year before last and finally found a job, someone has to return to take my place.

The result for those of us left behind is that we're now officially short-staffed, and starting next week it's all hands to the pump (that's the Ventolin respiratory pump on shelf 47a). Having given it a lot of thought, I've agreed to do some overtime on the grounds that nappies are expensive and it's more important to keep Lisa in maternity wear than it is to get home and write my blog. Posts might be thin(ner) on the ground, but as of Monday, I'm working for the baby.