Yesterday – Friday – was hard work. I already had a busy schedule, but events conspired to make it less than ideal.
It started well: the new job at Expedia (which is going well and I’m really liking) had a “Day Of Caring” whereby they give employees the opportunity to get out of the office for a day and work on various volunteer projects. You still get paid, and you can’t choose what you work on, but it’s a nice idea.
I was chosen to do some tree management in a nature reserve in Whitton – the diametric opposite side of London from where we live.
I was a bit nervous about not knowing anyone (it was only my fifth day at Expedia) but needn’t have worried – my co-volunteers (all Expedians) were a really nice easy-going bunch, and the work, while intense, was something different and quite enjoyable.
So far so good.
I’d had to take a weekend bag with me because we were going to Swindon that evening for my uncle’s 60th birthday party. Again, not ideal, but manageable.
Then the Lovely Melanie rang me (literally just as I was felling my first tree) to say that she was worried about Amber. She’s had a cough for a couple of weeks now, but some spots were now appearing on her face and body. Not being a doctor and not being physically present, I told her to speak to our GP.
Over the phone he told her that it sounded like chickenpox – which seemed pretty unlikely because Amber had a doozy of a case of that when she was little! But he asked them to come in at 5.30 that afternoon – the perfect time for causing them to miss our train to Swindon.
So, when I staggered out of the woods covered in mud, blood and leaves, I had to come all the way back to Bexley to pick up Millie in order that just the two of us could go straight to Paddington to catch the train.
Not the train we had paid for, but another one that I had to buy more tickets for. 😦
Then, that train was full to bursting because another train had been canccelled. I had to stand all the way and Millie just lay on the floor.
Oh, and the train was delayed. Brilliant. Stood, sweaty, filthy and exhausted, for an hour and a half on a packed train. It was so crowded I couldn’t even get to the loo to get changed and tidied up, so I arrived at the party still in the clothes I’d left the woods in!
Thank goodness that Millie took it all in her stride and the people around us were lovely – cheerful, good humoured and chatty all the way – if it hadn’t been for them I may have lost it a little bit!
We eventually got to the party an hour and a half late – sorry, Maurice! – but just happy to be there.