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The question: Christmas

Christmas for civil engineers often means hard work with bid deadlines to meet and road and rail possessions to supervise. What will you be doing this year?

My Christmas will involve a multinational attempt to drain the European wine lake, all from the comfort of my own home.

Derek Goodchild, 55, assistant chief engineer, Hampshire

In days gone by (thankfully), Christmas was working at home because of that first week in January deadline. Since changing jobs, sanity has returned and the Christmas agenda is one of food, fresh air, and quality time with the family. Lovely.

Robin Thomson, structural engineer, Livingston

Since my family has recently moved house, I will be using the holiday period to fit a new kitchen, lay a new lounge floor and redecorate throughout. Merry Christmas!

Andy Eggleston, 28, traffic engineer, Milton Keynes

For me all semblance of reality evaporates and fantasy takes a firm grasp. I will emerge from pyjama-land at about 10 o'clock in time for a much deserved prelunch sherry, standing in front of a roaring log fire. Then I will get on the treadmill of fulfilling my annual objectives: too much turkey, pudding, wine, telly and sleep.

John Dadson, 52, journalist, Cambridge

The holidays start with a visit from our daughter and son-in-law with our two grand-daughters for a couple of days, and then it will be down to the serious stuff. I will be working off the Christmas pudding with some DIY - refurbishing some furniture and a lot of pine cladding in the den. Then the garden will need attention and after that we have friends to visit, maybe a rugby match to watch and then down to the local for a bit of pub-rock. That is a fair mixture and I certainly will not have a dull moment.

Lance Fogg, 59, principal engineer, Blackpool

I will be working at my second job:

robotics R&D. I am not a sad case, I just happen to enjoy my work! I will also participate in the usual round of parties, pantos and family events with a healthy stock of food and drink. Is that a good balance?

Geoff Home, 53, director, North Yorkshire

I will be taking a well-earned holiday with my family in Gran Canaria before returning to work on 2 January to crash out schemes due for completion by 31 March.

Martin Sachs, 50, highway manager, East London

There is always a list of jobs to be done at home. I am sure that preparation of Christmas dinner can quite happily be interspersed with rebuilding an airing cupboard and making a new garden gate:

multi-tasking is what women are supposed to be good at isn't it?

Charis Fowler, 30, senior engineer, Midlands

I hope to be reaping the benefits of my domestic organisation's close partnering relationship with Santa and his supply chain - this should ensure that our two biggest customers are provided with integrated and fit for purpose solutions to the detailed specifications that they presented in his grotto only last week. In the event that customer satisfaction is achieved, I will use the peace and quiet to look for a new sleigh.

Tony O'Donnell, 38, engineering manager, Warwickshire

I am going to try really hard not to work, but the opportunity to sort out all the rubbish when the office is empty is too good to miss.

Apart from that I am not going to watch any TV, try to catch up on my sleep, do some work for my MSc and maybe play with the kids!

Jim Fennell, 34, information systems manager, Belfast

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