For some years now, I’ve been convinced that my life is extra specially eccentric. This could be down to my personality, or it could be a matter of perception but things didn’t start too well this week, because I left my phone in Scotland. Then… well… let me share my Wednesday afternoon with you.
Wednesday is market day in Bury. It’s also one of my three days a week at the gym. This Wednesday, I also went for coffee with some of the other mums after the school run. After trogging round town to various stores – McMini’s party is coming up so I was buying party bag stuffing as well as the usual stuff I got home, hid the plastic bag full of McMini party kit, had a quick shower, did a bit of writing, ate my lunch and decided to leave for school pick up half an hour early so I could drop into Waterstone’s and speak to the YA manager about my new book releases.
That’s when I realised I didn’t have my wallet.
It wasn’t in my bag either.
No worries, I remembered I’d put it in with the shopping because there have been purse thefts recently and I usually keep it in a pocket on the outside of my bag, well, rucksack (I have a small child, I am doomed to carry a rucksack so I can jemmy in all the mountains of shit required for managing a small child through the trials and tribulations of every day existence; snacks, plasters, wipes, sting stick, calpol sachets etc). I checked all the bags I’d had my shopping in, including – a real high point – the one in the wheelie bin.
Nothing – which was, kind of, a relief in the case of the bag in the wheelie bin because I’d emptied Harrison’s litter box into it – but all the same.
So I had a think. The last place I’d gone was the gym. I rang.
So there was only one thing for it. I must have dropped it. I consulted my watch. Half past two. OK, where was the cat? Out. Right so I needed to get him in first. No wait, I didn’t. First I needed to check in the garage round my bike. I got the electric bipper to open the door and went out into the street, closing the garden gate behind me.
Our garden is walled all around and the gate is about 7ft. As I closed the garage I realised I’d locked myself out of the garden. I’d have to climb in. Except that I don’t have as many knee ligaments as other people and I was a bit worried about the 7ft drop from the top of the wall to the ground below. After an energetic work out at the gym the knees didn’t feel up to it: neither did the rest of me.
Ah. Hang on. The garage has two windows at the back. Both festooned with cobwebs and probably cemented shut with stour but they are there, nonetheless. So I went back in and I tried to open the less cobweb covered of the two. It wouldn’t budge.
OK, let’s call that Plan B. Back to over the wall. I cast around and found a small plastic garden toy thing which McMini loved as a toddler. I put it by the fence and climbed up.
No. I decided. Not a wise move to go over there.
I put it in front of the gate.
No. I wasn’t going over there either.
I tried using a log against the window frame and hitting it with another log. It wouldn’t budge. It must be locked.
Ping! An idea dawned. I tried the other window. It was unlocked and it opened. Flaming typical. Never mind. I was in. I broke my way through the cobwebs and dropped into the garden below with the agility and grace of a heffalump tripping over a rock. Looking at my arms I realised my journey through the window had transformed me into the cobweb yeti. Another shower required tonight then to wash them out of my hair. I tried to brush them off but they clung to me determinedly.
Ho hum. Never mind. I was in the garden now, even if I looked as if I’d been down a derelict coal mine. I got the keys, opened the gate and then put the primary coloured child toy away again. I double checked that there was no sign of my wallet on or around my bike.
That meant I must retrace my steps to the market to see if I’d dropped it. That meant I must find the cat and put him indoors and that meant I didn’t have much time. I couldn’t leave him. He’s only 4 months old and the other feline visitor to our property, Big Vern as we now call him, tends to drop by in the afternoons. Big Vern is a real Ray Winstone of a cat. More of a tabby panther. I don’t want him and Harrison to fight if I’m not there to split them up.
After chasing the very over excited and skippity kitten round the garden for 10 minutes – this is a brilliant game Mummmy! I want to play it forever – I realised I wasn’t going to catch him. However, another five minutes bouncing a ping pong ball on the patio and he was there, ready to play. I threw it into the house and when he ran in after it, slammed the door and locked it. Time was running out. It was nearly 3 o’clock, and that’s when I have to leave to get McMini. I got my bike and cycled up to the gym. I checked where I lock the bike up and asked in a cafe nearby.
For fuck’s sake!
I cycled up the hill and as I got towards town remembered that the party shop was a little further from the market. That was the last store I visited so I went there. They didn’t have my wallet and it wasn’t anywhere near there. But going there did jog my memory. I hadn’t checked all the bags, because I’d forgotten to look in the hidden one from the party shop, which probably contained my wallet, but now it was too late to go home and check. So I went along to the school, picked up my boy and in the end he went to the park with a friend and her Mum. I cycled home and, as predicted, I found my wallet in the hidden bag.
So as you can see, I bring a lot of shit on my own head (not to mention stour, cobwebs and potential for injury in this instance). Never let it be said that I don’t make life interesting for myself. I put the washing out, while I was there and then went back to the park to pick up my boy. Naturally I didn’t make it to Waterstone’s.
So if anyone else out there has a the kind of short term memory that would make a goldfish laugh, this is just to let you know that you aren’t alone. And hey… it makes life interesting and I am proof positive that you can successfully organise the odd thing, in spite of yourself. Er hem.
Finally, moving on to more important stuff Few Are Chosen, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 1 – and also myself – get a shout out from Island Editions’ Reading Recommendations spot, or at least, got, yesterday. So here it is, please feel free to have a look, there are some fine books recommended on the site and if you like it, please feel free to share. There are a lot of good folks trying to help us indies and sharing, liking and generally appreciating their efforts is the way we can thank them. It also helps bring them more traffic, better search engine rankings, higher visibility on facebook etc.
So if you want to pop over to look, like and share the love you can find it here.
There’s an M T McGuire book signing coming up, too. Yes, despite having the organisational skills of a butterfly with indecision I have managed to arrange something. Try not to be too amazed, even if I am. The lovely people at Diss Publishing Bookshop, in Diss, in Norfolk, will be hosting a signing on Saturday 30th August, between 11 and 13.30. I’m very excited about that. More details can be found here.