A week in the life …

Matthew Walker is a management accountant at the Meat Hygiene Service, an executive agency of the Food Standards Agency. Having received a kidney transplant at Leeds St. James’s Hospital several years ago, he is also training for the British Transplant Games in the city. The Games aim to publicise the need for organ donors. Details of how to join the register are at www.nhsorgandonor.net. He admits he is no born athlete.


Missed the early bus, typical Monday. It was my niece’s second birthday yesterday and I pushed her round the garden in a wheelbarrow; fun for her, hard work for me. Still aching, I start the expenditure forecast for the year based on the Q1 results. It’s not easy predicting the rest of the year when the first three months have been so significantly affected by foot and mouth disease.


Manage a short run so feeling great by the time I reach work. We determine forecasts are inline with the budget, and there are no savings to surrender anything just yet. Catch up with my brother and his wife in the evening.

He is over from New Zealand for our older brother’s wedding. All three of us are accountants. We make a point of never discussing work in ‘normal’ company.


Meet with the director of veterinary services to prepare the key performance indicator report for the management group. We have targets on public health protection and animal welfare issues. I fear ‘O’ level biology doesn’t really qualify me to comment on the reduction of microbiological hazards in meat! Training again tonight. I practice the shot putt, but a lack of resources means a large stone has to do.


Finish the key performance indicator report for the management group so dedicate myself to clearing my towering in-tray – a necessary evil.

Try a few long jumps in the school pit at the back of my house. It’s only been 19 years since my last try.


Collapse as I get out of bed. It seems something ‘went’ in training last night. Barely able to walk to the bus and in pain all day. I hope at least one person registers as a donor as a result of my efforts. Lunch with some old colleagues. After the usual work stuff, we turn to the bigger issue of why we think Man United will win nothing next season. Conclude (as we have for the last five years) they are a spent force. Wonder whether I can get an eye care voucher from work to have my (white) rose tinted spectacles checked out!

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