Thursday, June 14, 2007

Missing In Action 1

I can explain everything. It's not my fault, you see. I'm not like other people. I do things the hard way.

For example, most people faced with an imminent holiday would start to organise, make plans, heck, maybe even save up for it some time, perhaps months in advance. Not me. Oh no! Why plan ahead and miss out on all those wonderful appetite-suppressing stress hormones?

Far better to leave everything, including the cost, until the last minute, coinciding perfectly with serious car trouble lasting all of 5 weeks and the related logistical nightmares that entails. Watch the pounds drop off.

I'm not entirely stupid. I do know where to make economies, both time and financial. So I cancelled the bikini wax appointment when I found a forgotten tube of Immac at the bottom of a drawer whilst rooting around for old suntan lotion. I then rang Rachel for a quick 5 minute chat while the depilation took effect. 35 minutes later, after lolling on the sofa completely engrossed in her wedding preparations, I suddenly remembered the carefully applied cream. It had spread a bit in the heat. The effect was less Hollywood, more 1980s asymmetrical popstar. Think Phil Oakey and the Human League.

I didn't fail to cock up the travel plans either. Saving £20 on flights from the airport furthest away seemed like a good idea when I'd booked them months earlier. Getting to Stansted from Hull after work but before 6.30am the next morning without a car wasn't as easy as you might think. It took a near-asthma attack ( I am not and never have been in the slightest bit wheezy) during a telephone conversation with my mum before receiving the offer of a lift from my stepfather, which was particularly kind of him given that we've barely spoken for 5 years.

Now all I had to do was clear the work on my desk, catch the last bus home, there's a stop almost outside my frontdoor and pack my case. I switched the dictaphone off at 20.45, typed a quick Out of Office note in my Microsoft Outlook, checked the windows were shut, closed the door on the office, went back upstairs twice to make sure I really had closed the computer down, fastened the windows, picked up the flight itineraries, currency etc, turned out the lights, went back updatirs once more just to be sure then sauntered down Whitefriargate to the bus stop on the other side of town. There was no-one else waiting but I figured I was early.

I hadn't anticipated that the last bus left Hull at 6.25pm. 2 hours earlier.
The next was at 8.30. A.M.

Second asthma attack of the day was threatening. I checked the timetable in case I'd misread it. 4 times. I kept staring at it expecting it to magically change before my eyes. How could I be stuck in a city, 17 miles from home, before it was even dark? I had a purse full of Euros but less than a fiver in anything a taxidriver would accept. Neither my Mum, Dad, Stepfather ( I know I was already pushing the limits of my favour-seeking there) or any of Jack's mates with cars were answering their phones.

I was stranded in Hull. A perfect start to a dream holiday.


Blogger Pete said...

only you cp......

7:20 pm  
Blogger ziggi said...

so, r u blogging from the bus stop??

7:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good to hear from you - I was thinking White Slave Trade ??..??..??..
Oh What happened next do tell??
I have yet to blog my new job which includes an assault today from mother and son, and the car breaking down en route to collect the DH from his car breaking down - so I am with you ever step of your hazardous journey way.
It is just good to have you back - or have I alread said that?

11:27 pm  
Blogger Menchie said...

Boy, i hope the rest of your holiday makes up for the crappy beginning.

7:45 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Pete - is that a request for a Yazoo soundtrack?

Ziggi - I'm not yet that technologically advanced. My phone might be but I haven't a clue how to use it

Cherry - I knew we had lots in common from the first time I read your blog. Hadn't realised just how much. Thanks for not giving up on me x

Menchie - it had its moments but I'm sure relieved it's over now

5:42 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

For the last week or so I kept meaning to ask, but other things distracted me; did you have a good holiday?

7:26 am  
Blogger Seany said...

I'd like to think this is one of those "things can only get better from here" stories.

Looking forward to the next instalment...

8:58 am  
Anonymous Marjory said...

But you're alive!

7:20 pm  

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