They are petering out now; the "How was your Christmas?" and "Happy New Year and all that" greetings from colleagues and friends. I am not sure how I feel about that.
Part of me is definitely disappointed to be leaving behind the jolly, self indulgent days with people I love.
Part of me is relieved to be leaving behind the jolly, self indulgent days with people I love.
And I have to admit that yet another part of me feels disappointed that I didn't spend a more challenging Christmas with my other family, trying to keep the peace and help people.
There were just over 2200 crimes and some truly awful traffic accidents in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in December. I know of two officers recently assaulted and injured on duty. There were probably more scuffs and scrapes that went unreported. One of the officers described the incident to a friend as "...a little hairy. He didn't want to accompany us to our en suite facilities...". I admire the humour the officer showed; nice one.
So just in case you are like me and have mixed feelings about last Christmas, or are pretty sure you had a pants Christmas, here is a little collection of the "police humour" from colleagues in the dim and very distant past that has made me stifle inappropriate sniggers.
To "Danny", a former boxer and regular beggar who cut off his toes on one foot to maximize the sympathy donations to his methylated spirits fundraising campaign. A colleague retrieved one size 10 left boot and one size 6 right boot from lost property going in the bin and popped them in Danny's collecting cap.
To the suicidal drunk on the wrong side of the safety barriers and threatening to jump off a bridge, an opening line of, "If you're there to paint the bridge, I hate to break it to you but you forgot your brush."
To the prisoner being driven to custody and threatening to burn down an officer's house with his family inside, the officer said, "Sorry mate, it's an igloo. That's where I live.". The prisoner replied, "I know where that is, it's on the Piccadilly line."
My tutor constable to me after I pulled most of a long deceased person out of the Grand Union Canal, "You do know it's the probationer that has to do the mouth to mouth don't you." He relented after the look of horror on my face. The tinker.
My colleague who at a National Front march in East London that had started chanting "Kill the pig, kill the pig" who marched straight up the shaven headed, five foot tall, 16 stone cheer leader wearing 16 hole Doc Martin boots. My colleague stepped in front of the cheer leader and faced the chanting crowd, spread his arms and said over his shoulder, "Ma'am, I'll try and protect you but it sounds like the crowd wants to kill you."
So, keep smiling and may we all keep a sense of humour through 2018.
PS - My New Year's Resolution is to encourage safe driving, kindness to each other and respect for property.
PPS - All of the above ended relatively well, all things considered.