Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 23 March 2017
My last three days
Being a little confused at the time, I turned up to court and sleepily signed a bit of paper saying that I was able to sit in on a trial which was due to last for about a month. When I woke up I wondered how I was going to be able to do the work which is deadlined for the end of this month.
The consequences of making myself available for a long trial was that I was not selected for the shorter ones, but then the longer one was postponed for some reason, so I was back on the short ones again. My name was called out along with 16 others, but I was not selected so went back into the boredom of the waiting room with the other 4.
Yesterday morning we were dismissed until after lunch, then an hour later a perecntage of jurors were given the opportunity to be discharged completely, and as soon as these words came through the speakers, I virtually ran to the office to sign up for early release and was first in the queue which formed behind me.
That was it. About an hour later I was free to go. Many stayed behind but were told to have the rest of the week off and return the following. I didn't have to try hard to fight off feelings of guilt about not having perfomed a civic duty. To do so would have put a huge strain on my working life, because the nature of it means I am asked to lie dormant for weeks, then suddenly come up with the goods in a very short time period, and this period would have corresponded to any lengthy case I might have been on, never mind the money. If I had not signed up for a long trial I would probably still be there for the next two weeks - who knows.
Last year when I was called up for jury service, I had a phone call at the last minute offering me the chance of being dismissed immediately and I took it. My friend called me a 'jammy bastard', and when I recounted this here on the blog, a couple of readers snootily accused me of having no sense of civic duty.
This year - on hearing the latest outcome - my friend called me a 'jammy c***', and I daresay I might get the same opinions from last year's commentators, despite that I turned up willing and able. Nobody called me a jammy anything for getting two summons' in one year.
The most rewarding aspect of the last three days for me were exploring a part of old Bristol which I was not familiar with. There are architectural gems all around, including an intact 18th century coffee house which is still serving coffee, and a massive market which is thriving with stalls which spill out into the streets on all four sides, selling all manner of eatables, wearables and usables.
I bought an Irish jumper of the kind which I love, but is rarely seen outside Ireland or Celtic areas like Cornwall. £45. Bargain.
It is strange how I am now missing the long, uphill walk from the station to the court - in the pouring rain. I suppose I had better get on with that work now.