One of Those Days

The alarm didn’t go off. It could have been a disaster, but fortunately I woke up ten minutes later and checked the time. Out of bed in a nano second; cat food in the bowl; kettle on; coffee in the filter cone; egg in the water and bread in the toaster.

It was all a bit rushed, but I got out of the door more or less on time and even managed a few minutes frantic play with MasterB who evidently had plans this morning that did not involve me going anywhere.

I delayed my rush to the bus stop to take bad pictures of the new planter made from an abandoned trunk. It is wonderful to me. I am gradually filling it with herbs, and just looking at it fills my heart.

Transformed Trunk

Transformed Trunk

The traffic was slow. London, and particularly my patch, is plagued with with road works and traffic jams due to various good causes that include the Cycle Super Highway that should make cycling around the Elephant and Castle for those brave enough to try it less like a two-wheeled version of Russian roulette.

At Waterloo Station, I noticed a line of people, some wearing cycle helmets. I stopped for a moment to look and nearly got knocked down by some rushing commuters. The people who had caught my attention were waiting for the Barclay bikes to be unloaded from the van so they could hire them and go to work.

Bike Queue

Bike Queue

The job I was doing today is not one I am completely confident about despite hours of prep and swotting. However, under a veneer of panic, I felt good. On the journey out of town I gazed from the train window, mentally going through my notes and I found myself smiling. Eighteen months ago I left a job I loved after years of being ground down by a boss who disliked me. The lack of appreciation was very harmful. Fortunately it was a part time job, and my other job provided some balance. It’s the other job that I now do full-time. I am appreciated, and the contrast is like the difference between being starved and being fed.

And today I was fed well. The appreciations were fulsome. It was quite a long day, but at the end of it, I came home in a rosy and tired glow. I had also had a few precious hours in the countryside, seeing poppies by the verges, fat lambs in the fields, a foal, calves still with their mothers.

Poppy Verges

Poppy Verges

It’s more than a week until I can break away to das Boot, but I am almost salivating at the thought. The poppies in East Anglia are a byword. I am looking forward to a visual feast.

MasterB was pleased to see me. Celia had called in to check on him today, and we exchanged texts while I was travelling home. MasterB, she told me, had looked at her pityingly when she tried to play with him. Allowed outside, he hid in the binshed. Maybe he was saving his energies for my homecoming. We had an hour of energetic play with the feathered toys before he would go out. He was cuddly and affectionate. I watered the garden, but when it was time for me to come in I couldn’t see him. He’s still outside now, but his moments of freedom are numbered, as I want to go to bed.

15 thoughts on “One of Those Days

  1. Seriously? The locals use the Barclay Bikes to commute? That is a very interesting development in public transit. The rental bike stands have recently arrived here and I fear for their users as it appears to be a BYOH situation.

    Sorry you woke late, happy you made it to the train on time, extremely happy it went well because we have been on that particular journey and as I savor the trip I think your commentary would have been even more entertaining than we we had. Not complaining, just looking forward to your popping up more often and giving us more opportunities to listen to you. Late Nov/Early Dec of course, but still – you are a girl who can turn a phrase.

    • Yes a lot of people use them to commute. You see the marching purposefully towards the nearest bike station, helmet on head or in hand. But I had never seen this before. It makes sense that outside the mainline stations there is a continuous demand during the rush hour so the vans must be kept busy meeting demand with supply and collecting the bikes from elsewhere in London. I imagine that there are places which are also popular destinations, so it’s probably a fairly continuous loop.
      The cost of a helmet is not so great as the cost of a helmet and a bike, and with these you don!t have to worry about storage or maintenance.

  2. lovely post – and I’m enchanted by the redundant trunk turning into a flower bed. Have a couple in the house – both still with stuff in but Taking Up Space that I would like to have freed up. So I shall look for a place to put them and turn them into part of the garden. Brilliant!

    • Oh good. There is something very satisfying about using something that has been discarded as rubbish and turning it into something if not beautiful at least pleasant to look at. The trunk now has a lining attached with drawing pins, and holes drilled trough the bottom for drainage. It is resting on six bricks. I am delighted with it.

    • I was intending to change the header this week, but after your comment it can have a day or so’s reprieve.
      I just love the trunk. The Lovely Neighbour and I had plans for it before she moved out, so it has taken quite a while to get this far.

  3. Hi glad to hear the trip went well and have to say I love the herb trunk…did you get my email yesterday with the pallet recycled auricula theatre?

    • I had never heard of an auricula theatre, and love this idea. I am sure we could hold of an old pallet or two and do something here. Brill. Thanks!

  4. They are Santander bikes now. That’s why they are now red; before they were blue. Barclays would be pleased to see you calling them Barclays bikes. Most people call them Boris bikes, so Barclays may not have benefitted as much from the sponsorship as they wanted to.

    • I know, but I don’t see why BoJo should get free publicity every time one mentions a bike, and I called them Barclays bikes from the start. Some are still blue. I think we should come up with a new catchy name. Any suggestions?

  5. I do so like your herb garden in a trunk, Isobel. Poppies are wonderful, we saw so many of them in Europe. The red really stands out against green grasses or barley or wheat, or even alongside railway tracks, where they contrast beautifully with the rusty-coloured rails. Such a pleasing and cheerful sight.

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