I saw a barn owl once. I didn’t know it was a barn owl until later, when I Googled owl and I recognised the bird I had seen. I have learned since then that it is a quite common owl, present almost everywhere. But for me it was an apparition or I might call it a singularity. It looked like a creature taken from one of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. It was as if it didn’t belong to the same world I live in. It took me into another world, the way it stared at me with those dark, beady eyes. I could only stare back, with my weak eyes. I guess it didn’t like what it saw, because it soon flew and left me behind, back in my world. But I was inspired by the experience, and decided I wanted to be a superhero and the barn owl would be the symbol to the chest, the form my pride and my mission would take in front of the world. I would make special the most common owl. I’d be the Night Owl!
Everything is closed. The lucky ones, the ones, who are furloughed are earning some money. Many did not have a full-time or part-time contract. Many do not have a job. Restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, hotels, etc. The list is long and painful. For many places it’s the end.
Christmas was the day you spent at work. Christmas was the day away from your family. Christmas was the day you spent making money. It was the day you spent making other families happy. It was about spending it with the people you worked with. It was the day of Christmas hats and red ties. I always wore a black shirt and a red tie. Sometimes a Santa hat that was so hot I felt I had a sick animal dying on my head. Christmas was the day away from family. Christmas was the day you spent after all the families had gone, the day you spent eating with your work people. The ones that didn’t really have a family, the ones that maybe like you lived away from home. Christmas was the day of nostalgia. Christmas was the day you spent the evening reading the messages from family and friends. Christmas was a very odd day.
I like to cycle to work. I was used to not having that much Time to exercise at home, so I thought cycling to work was a good way to do it. So I got an electric bike, because, you know. To save Time.
I have worked in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom for about 10 years. I have worked in various roles in hotels. Housekeeper, Night Porter, Conference Porter, Part-Time Accountant, Assistant Food & Beverage, Food & Beverage Manager, Operations Manager. Many roles, many progressions. Because the hospitality industry allows for progression. It is a flexible world. Then the pandemic came. To save the hotel costs I took a pay cut and a demotion. A decision I agreed with, a decision I understood. The pandemic came, I was demoted in theory, but in practice I was slightly more than a waiter, because this is what the hotel required. Because it was about economic survival. Because we had to save the jobs of those that were furloughed: the hotel had to keep going.
I recall as a child once a year my family would take me to the temple where we would meet everyone. Those not attending the ceremony were those in fact the ceremony was dedicated to.