Monday, 3 November 2014

unheralded stupidity

We all have moments of it, I'm sure. Yesterday I had slightly more than a few moments — about four hours.
It amazes me that I can set off on a route: mentally and physically sometimes, actually, quite often, without thinking things through.
This route was the motorway to Toulouse to pick friends up from the airport (about and hour and a half each way). I removed dog hairs from their car's upholstery (they lodge the car with us) checked I had necessary route equipment: banana, nut snacks, tin of sardines, water, map etc, and set off with the flight info in mind.
Their radio didn't seem to work so I looked at the autumn trees, wondered about number plates and arrived in good time. I parked, looked for the gate number and walked through the echoey marble arrivals area to wait for them to arrive, laden down as usual with many mysterious black-bagged shapes (art photographer/sculptor - he is).
After falling asleep for an hour on a rather comfy leather sofa I realised that the time had well and truly gone for them to arrive, however much baggage, and thus, questioning, they may have been confronted with.
I went to INFORMATION and was told there was another flight from Portugal coming in at five. My phone, that I thought I had charged, was showing a merest drip of battery juice left. I called Mark from a payphone (they still exist!) and he said something like: 'you idiot — check your emails more carefully. Come back!'
Yes, the wrong Sunday. How had I not seen the date? or registered it? Mysterious workings or non-workings of the menopausal woman's mind perhaps. I said lots of stuff like 'bollocks' and headed to the car park ticket machine, which then ate my debit card. A rotund man, who insisted on asking all his collegues that he passed where they were going for lunch, escorted Sweating Me back to the machine.
'Stand aside, please Madame, I will deal with this,' he said, in manner of bomb-difusing expert, and fished out my card.

I once again looked out at the autumn trees and thought about number plates as I headed homeward. In fact it was quite a useful time, once I had put all the calculations of wasted time/petrol/parking/tolls etc aside. I visualised a cover for my next book, worked out some story lines and then stopped to open a tin of sardines on top of a hill in a village I had never visited before. I watched the clouds scudding across the crests of the black mountains, and wondered how Mark would greet me on my return.
As I stomped up the steps to the house, he cam out, eyed me wryly and said, "Good trip?" Quite generous I thought.

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