A lovely if somewhat surreal afternoon this afternoon resulted in me too being a small hero, if not a real man.
It all began when we were at the hospice. Dad really wasn’t too good and really needed to be left to sleep, especially as a friend from church was visiting today, so my sister and I decided to go out for tea. Unable to decide where to go, we drove sort of randomly across the Island in the general direction of Freshwater where I wanted to take her to Afton Orchards, a lovely place for a walk in the sun. Except, the sun decided to go in and it began to look decidedly like rain.
I was not particularly planning my route, but found myself uncertain of whether to turn left or go straight on at an unfamiliar crossroads. This happens only rarely on the Island, as you can imagine, but it never worries me as you can be fairly certain that eventually you’ll find yourself somewhere you recognise. I explained this to my sister, as we drove along a beautiful but unfamiliar narrow road, twisting back and forth between the fields and seeming to avoid any connection with civilisation. But I was right, eventually we found ourselves somewhere we recognised…. it was the same crossroads where I’d decided to go straight on and had approached it again from the road to the left!!! Most surreal. We drove along the road we’d originally come from and actually found ourselves heading in the direction we wanted!
Thence to Isle of Wight Pearl, as the orchard’s tearooms were outside and it didn’t seem too ideal a day for working on one’s suntan. This again was surreal. They seem to be redecorating, but it appears that it is the usual staff that are doing it. One of the immaculately dressed saleswomen behind one of the jewellery counter was wielding a tiny paint roller and painting the low ceiling above her as she waited for a customer. Meanwhile in the cafe they were taking down the network of tiny lights which were covering the ceiling above our heads. As we sat eating our cakes and drinking our coffee, we were aware of this net dropping lower and lower and actually surrounding us where we sat in the far corner of the cafe. Then suddenly the chap doing the work, clearly from his outfit one of the chefs, touched a wire he shouldn’t have touched and there was a sudden temporary power cut!
Realising it was time to go and meet the boys from school, we went out to the car park. I became aware of a red car pulling out of one of the car parking bays and moving forward in our general direction. I don’t know what made me look in the driver’s seat… but I suddenly realised there was nobody there! The driver had obviously parked his Skoda without putting the handbrake on and the considerable slope of the carpark had eventually become too much of a temptation for the car to bear. It was starting to gain a bit of momentum and heading towards a very large brick wall. Flight or fight? Flight or fight? I resisted the impulse to run like…. **** … and sprang into action. With my sister’s help, and a frantic shout to a passerby to come and assist us, we managed to lean against the bonnet and bring the car to a reluctant stop. We held it while the owner was located in the shop and brought out to apply the handbrake and release us from our herculean task.
And what thanks did I get? A pearl necklace? No, the discovery that I had held the bonnet of the car in the exact place where a very large and incontinent seagull had done its business.
Everyone said it was a sign of good luck!
Honestly, I have been having some really weird dreams lately…… but this was for real!