My own, personal, 24 hours is nearly at an end now. I should take pains to point out that at no point during this narrative was the world as we know it in any danger and I look absolutely nothing life Kiefer Sutherland but I’ve had an eventful last 24 hours and in true true-confessions style, I’m about to tell anybody who cares to read this blog what an absolute pillock I can be.
20.49: 24 hours ago, I was sat in a large room in Chorley while my son (who should be getting himself there at his age) played the piano. He still takes piano lessons, which is laudable at his age, and I take him because I like the fact that he does. He’s very, very good. He has already got his Grade 8 and the stuff he’s learning now is impressive. Well, he was sat there 24 hours ago and I had no idea what was in store for me in the next few hours.
(While we were driving to Chorley yesterday, my petrol light came on. Normally I ignore it and carry on driving for a couple of days until it is not going off again but I decided to be sensible and so on our way home, I stopped off to put some fuel in the car.)
21.10: I got out of the car and left the keys in the ignition. Thos was in the passenger seat so I thought nothing of it. I filled the car and then went into the shop to pay for the petrol. Thos joined me in the shop and so, being a sensible sort of a person, I asked him to get the keys out of the ignition. He asked me with some incredulity if I had left the keys in the ignition and I confirmed that I had. He then told me he had locked the car from the inside. Panic Stations all round!
21.13: Having paid for the petrol, I got my mobile phone out to ring my husband, who was at work at the time. The call diverted straight to voicemail. “Damn!” I thought, “he’s got it switched off”. I then asked the lady in the petrol station if she knew of a local taxi firm and asked my son if he had any money. I was about 7 miles from home, the keys were locked in the car, I couldn’t raise my husband, I had a grand total of £7 in my wallet and I was beginning to feel like a bit of a fool.
21.16: Having ascertained that my son had some money on him, I rang a local taxi firm, explained my predicament and asked them to send a car as soon as possible.
21.22: I realised my husband’s phone wasn’t switched off at all, it was simply not working because he had dropped it in the washing up water a few days ago. I made a mental note to buy a new one at the first opportunity.
21.25: The taxi driver arrived. I left my son to keep an eye on the car and we set off for home. The taxi driver was incredulous that my car, a new car, would allow me to lock it with the keys in the ignition. I explained it was a basic model with no frills.
21.35: We arrived outside my house. The taxi driver switched off the meter and told me he would charge double the fare so far – £12.00 – which would make a total of £24.00. I ran in the house with a hurried and shouted explanation to my two daughters and went to look for the spare key on the hook on the back door. It wasn’t there. Panic stations! I checked inside the pantry – not there either. Now I was getting extremely worried and working my way through the house, I spotted it on the hallway window sill. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, I picked it up, kissed it and keeping tight hold of it, ran back to the taxi.
21.38: I got into the taxi and triumphantly exhibited the spare key. The taxi driver turned round and started the journey back to the petrol station, my car and my son.
21.48: We arrived at the petrol station. My car was looking very frightened and very alone. My son had not even bothered to keep it company and instead had lurked in a dark corner of the petrol station like the surly metal-head he is. He came over to me while I was still in the taxi and we cobbled together the fare, which I gladly gave the taxi driver.
21.50: I opened the car door and put the spare key in my pocket. Knowing my car was now safe, the kind-hearted taxi driver drove off to collect his next fare. My son and I climbed into the car and we drove off.
22.01: Emotionally exhausted, I drew up outside my house and parked the car on the roadside so I could use it again in the morning. I went into my house to find my son telling his two little sisters that under no circumstances whatever should they relate the evening’s events to their father.
22.30: I decided to go to bed and took my mobile phone with me to use as an alarm. I set it to a timed silent profile so nobody could disturb me.
07.49: I checked the time on my mobile, thinking it was about 5.50am. I jumped out of bed screaming silently. This is the time I’m usually setting off for work. I had forgot to set the alarm the night before.
07.51: I rang my manager to explain that I had just got out of bed and I would be late for work.
07.55: Whilst having a shower, I noticed my watch was still on and was getting very wet indeed. This is not one of these fantastic waterproof watches so I removed it pronto, hoping I hadn’t broken it.
08.05: I got out of the shower and found to my relief that my watch was still working. I got dressed.
08.10: I went downstairs, made myself a cup of coffee and put some weetabix in a bowl. I checked my e-mails etc.
08.32: I set off for work in my still traumatised car.
Actually, the rest of the 24 hours was pretty uneventful but those few at the beginning more than make up for it.