Wednesday 31st
August 2016, a day of luck and misfortune.

I had the week
off work and decided to head down country to give my second home a spring
clean, having recently evicted my tenants. I rose early in the morning ready to
leave by 8.30ish and head to the coach station, which would be my mode of
transport for the main of my journey. Coach due to leave at 10.00am. At 8.45am my beloved
drove me to the bus stop where I would be able to catch the one bus needed to
get me to the coach station. Heading
into town at any time of day is a bit of a nightmare, but at that time of the
morning more so, even with the main of the rush hour behind me. (Should have left at 8.30am).
Three buses went by, any of which I could have caught had I not been on
an economy drive by only wanting to pay the one bus fare, before my bus arrived. I boarded the bus just after 9.00am
and prayed. Progress was slow but steady
and my confidence in reaching the coach station on time intact. By 9.30am we hadn’t yet passed familiar
landmarks that would indicate we were close, so my patience was beginning to
thin. There was a point when the traffic came to a stand-still and I found
myself getting up and moving towards the front of the bus to see what the
hold-up was. I saw nothing but more traffic and started to think of a contingency plan just in case. The nearest rail or tube network was
ahead of me so running as fast as I could with a suitcase was all I could come
up with. I sat back down prayed some more and prepared myself for missing the
coach. However, slowly but surely we
progressed. I cursed every time a request to stop was made and cheered at every
stop we passed by. At 9.50am we reached
touchdown. I readied myself for the mad dash across the rail station to the
coach station. After skilfully dodging
people whilst running and huffing and puffing with my suitcase, I made it to
the coach station with a minute to spare.
I realised I would have no time to collect my ticket as planned so
whilst on the bus I opened my email ticket confirmation and hoped the driver
would accept it. (Why did I think he wouldn’t in this day and age). To my horror
I could not see the coach in its
usual place or a notice advertising it, (note to self: always have spectacles
to hand), so panicked. I walked further along the line of coaches to no avail.
I was about to ask a nice young forecourt attendant if my coach had already
left when as if by magic it rolled into line. He was however able to confirm my
e-ticket confirmation as a suitable boarding pass. Hooray for the coach running
late and hooray for modern
technology. Heart rate returned to
normal I sat back to enjoy the journey.
And this was just the beginning of my day.

Deposited safely
from the coach in timely fashion I headed to find the stop where I would catch
a bus to my final destination. Not totally au fait of the bus timetable I was
delighted to see said bus waiting at the stop.
I bounded towards it and asked the driver what time he was leaving. ‘In
one minute’, he said. Having told him I needed to get some cash from the nearby
cashpoint, unless he took contactless, (they do where I live), he told me he would wait for one minute
and then go if I was not back by then.
Further bounding to the cashpoint and back again I made it onto the bus. (Note to self: not as fit as you think you
are, try harder). The gods were with me
thus far.

I walked
leisurely towards my flat, time in hand, and all was well with the world. It wasn’t long before the gods turned. I put the key into the front door lock but unfortunately it would not turn.
I tried the two other identical keys on the fob with the same result. Had the
lock been changed without my knowledge? Sadly not, I came with the wrong set of keys, if in fact I have a key at
all. My trip was being done on the
quiet, no family who live nearby aware of my intended visit. This now was unavoidable. I contacted my niece first since she was the
last tenant and I knew she had a key, plus her new home was close by. Unfortunately she was out to lunch, in the
town where I had caught the bus out. She
wasn’t due back for a while and was intending to drop in on her grandparents
(my parents) on the way back, and suggested I contact them. I did just this and, after apologising for
bothering them and explaining the situation, my dad (and part-time caretaker)
came to the rescue with a key to let me in. By this time it was raining. An offer of a lift was made to the shops to
buy provisions, which was gratefully accepted.
With the rain and drop in temperature a jacket was required, which was
in my suitcase. Now, when I put the padlock on that morning
the combination was the same as it has been for the last couple of years. Somehow, between homes, this had mysteriously
changed and the padlock remained just so. Out into the cold we went, first stop
to buy tools to break the padlock. A
selection of saws and a pair of cutters were selected, which would subsequently
boost my dad’s already over-flowing tool box. Next stop the supermarket. I took my provisions to the cash desk, paid
for them and walked towards the exit, closing my purse as I went. On trying to put my purse away I realised I had left my handbag at the
checkout. Not too sure where my head had
been all day, not secured tight enough that’s for sure. The padlock was successfully sawed through and
my dad returned to his home. The rest of
the day unfolded uneventfully and I retired to bed.

I have to just
mention this one thing the following day. Thursday was a good day, busy and
going to plan, until that is I started to prepare my evening meal which
included a tin of soup and bread rolls. Not complicated I hear you cry, except
I purchased a can of soup that required a can opener, which I did not
have. Could have persevered with a pair
of scissors or a screwdriver, but figured that could all end in bloodshed, so
mad dash to the nearest shop to buy a can opener. Have to admit I was tempted to get a
takeaway, but resisted and enjoyed my soup eventually.

Seems the gods like to keep a balance between good and bad.