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Holidays and Email Autoreplies

The main holidays in Australia for most people are the Christmas ones. School is closed, people are at the beach and things get very quiet for much of January. This is when I take most of my annual leave, and because I work at a university that closes from just before Christmas until after New Year's day anyway, I can often take from four to five weeks off.

It's been my pattern since 2004 to leave my laptop at work and not respond to email or read Twitter for that entire period (2013 was the first deviation from this pattern - I was based at DANS in The Hague as a visiting fellow). This work-communication detox allows me to actually relax, slow down, and prepare for the year to come.

Associated with such a long period of time away I also need to set an out-of-office email autoreply. By that stage of the year, I am usually feeling a little tired (and thus more 'creative') and this is usually reflected in the message text. In recent years, I have taken to plagiarising well-known poems (I am not the only person who does this, which is reassuring).

Here is the archive of my holiday auto-replies to date (the year is the year of the Christmas in question, the poet is who I used for inspiration):