Friday, 13 February 2009

Worst day ever

Forget Friday 13th, yesterday was a day full of such crapitude that today holds no fear for me. Thursday is the day I do my late shift, working from 1pm-9pm. I got up fairly early and set off towards the leisure centre for a swim. I was turning onto a smaller road from the main road and a pedestrian was waiting to cross. I swear she looked straight at me and then stepped out, it was only as I was about to run her over that she actually noticed me and did a huge gasp and stopped walking. Silly woman, thought I. Shortly after that, while I was just starting my 20th (ish) length of the pool and woman who had been swimming over from me decided to move to swim at the edge of the pool where I was swimming, looked straight at me and begun swimming right at me. Only when I changed course to go round her did she notice I was there and she apologised. By this time I was beginning to wonder if something had happened over night to make me partially invisible. This feeling was compounded on my way home when a massive lorry pulled out in front of me! Blimey I thought, what a strange day.

I managed to ride to work without incident so I thought things had probably settled down. Just to set the scene for later I must add that at this point we were having a really lovely day, a bit chilly out but dry with glorious sunshine. I went straight out onto the library counter only to spend the next couple of hours dealing with the most obnoxious man I have ever met. At one point I told my colleague that the next time that man came over he was probably going home without his nose! Eventually he was sorted out and (after some encouragement from one of my colleagues) he came to apologise to me for speaking to me in such a 'nervous way'. Eh?!? At this point I thought, we'll what a day, I'm sure it can't get any worse. Famous last words.

The rest of my working day passed without incident. In the early evening we were a little surprised to hear that it was snowing outside after the glorious weather we had seen earlier. We kept checking outside, but really the snow was quite wet and none of it was settling. This was still the case at 8ish when I was having my break. However, when I stepped outside to go home it was like the world had changed. There was snow everywhere. I will admit to feeling a bit worried but I figured that once I was off campus and on to the main roads it would all be clear. I had a little wobble as I made way across campus but I recovered and went on my way. The librarian I work late with, who also has a motorcycle was not so lucky and he came off at the place I skidded. Making my way on to the main road I saw that things were no better there but being a big brave girl I soldiered on. Unable to see through my steamed up visor, I pushed it up, then unable to see through the snowflakes throwing themselves against my eyeballs I put it back down. I did this a few time before I found a happy medium that at least allowed me to slightly see where I was going! By this point I am freaking out. A couple of miles further on I am really freaking out, the snow is still coming down, cars in front are going slower that I am comfortable going and I am approaching the brow of a hill and I know it is all downhill from there. And then, just as I had always known I would, I felt the wheels slide out from underneath me and I'm going down. Luckily it was all just a really gentle slide and there was no impact of any kind. I'm fine, but in rather a predicament. I start to pick up the bike, not entirely sure I can do it and in my mind's eye I can see the person in the car behind jumping out to give me a hand. Any second, I think, someone will help. Nope. Somehow I get the bike upright but facing the opposite way than I had been going and still in everyone's way. Despite the slipperyness I manage to push the bike up hill and out of the way so everyone can get by me. Which they do. A long line of cars just driving by. Two people asked if I was ok but didn't offer to get out and help. One person shouted that I 'should have got a car'. So, to recap, I am now out of harm's way, pointing up a hill in the snow standing on the right side of my bike. The stand and the lock for my seat (under which is my phone) are both on the left side of my bike. This means I have to just stand there holding onto the brake and pray I don't slip. I manage to one handedly extract my phone and call Chris. The story ends well, I get rescued along with my miraculously undamaged Vespa but not until I have stood by the side of the road for another 10 minutes just praying that someone will stop and help me put the stand down so that I can let go of the brake. I'm not going to try and analyse the state of society today or anything like that, but really, I've heard so many heart warming stories about people helping each other out in times of need and now I realise just how special and rare a thing that is. At lunch time I am off to get presents for Chris and his brother who did come out and help me, and in my opinion went above and beyond the call of duty, just to let them know how grateful I am that I had someone to put themselves out for me.

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