After sleeping on and off all afternoon yesterday, I woke up at 3am this morning for a good couple of hours before drifting back off to sleep again. It’s the first time in years that I’ve woken that early, and as 4am rolled around I could see it getting light outside, and the birds started singing. It was lovely. Or maybe the medicine is kicking in and I was a little high. Either way, I appreciated the start to the day, especially as I managed to get in a couple of hours of sleep before getting up at 7.30am, washing and making my way round to see the kids.
I prefer seeing the kids in the morning as opposed to talking to them on the phone. When I talk to them on the phone I find that they are generally watching tv or playing games at the same time so I don’t get their full attention. Or that they all want to tell me exactly the same thing, which I don’t mind, but can be a bit tedious.
Getting up and walking around there also ensures that I’m up and out, and that I don’t stay in bed until silly o’clock which is what I’d be tempted to do. A number of times I’ve thought about moving house, but realistically I’d never want to move too far from the kids for the simple reason that I like seeing them every day.
Charisma is off school today, complaining about having an earache and headache, though by the time I saw her this morning she looked fine, and Mel claimed that the Calpol had kicked in and improved her frame of mind. Personally I’d have been tempted to take her to school, but then again it’s not me that saw how bad she was in the morning.
Once I’d seen the kids I made my way, by car, in to town. It had been my intention to walk to town while I’m off work, which I did once last week, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t want to risk it right now with my chest, so off I went in the car, clutching my asthma pump as if my life depended on it, which is plainly doesn’t.
I parked in the car park and made my way to Starbucks. I love Starbucks at the best of times, but at just before 9am there’s only half a dozen people in there, and it’s much nicer for it. I nicked a copy of The Times that had been discarded on another table, and found that the part of my brain that suddenly has a penchant for Radio Four still couldn’t find any interest in something as grown-up as The Times. Secretly I think it’s because my mum is a Telegraph reader. Had someone left a copy of that paper lying around, I dare say I’d have poured over it’s pages much more contendly, reflecting on the years that my mum spent doing the same. I’d have stopped short of doing the crossword though. I can barely manage The Sun crosswords using both the normal and the cryptic clues.
I whiled away an hour in there, updating Facebook as I did so, and wondering why women choose to wear sunglasses indoors. Yes, it’s sunny outside, but not only are you indoors, but you’re also sitting behind a slightly tinted window, and even if you didn’t realise that, the whole bloody building is in the shade anyway. People annoy me for the silliest of reasons sometimes.
One skinny caramel latte later, I had a wander down the High Street, looking for books in charity shops, before realising I’d picked up my Library Card and deciding to pop in to Chelmsford library instead.
I’m sure libraries were much more interesting when I was a kid. I used to go along to Chess Club every Friday when I was at Junior school, and that was in the local library. It seemed huge, and I always remember reading loads of great books. Scouring the bookshelves today and I was hard pushed to find anything at all to read.
Eventually, as I was on my way out, I stumbled across a shelf of “reserved” books, and notice one with my name on it. I only reserved it a week ago online, and had requested a text message to let me know when it was in, which I never received, so I stumbled on it by chance. I booked it out and took it to the other Starbucks in town where the cute Duffy lookalike works (though she wasn’t there today) and sat down to read it.
365 Random Acts of Kindness by Danny Wallace. I’ve read a couple of his books recently, and though he doesn’t have the best or most mesmorising writing style in the world, his books are easy to read. This was a large font book which was pretty Ronseal - doing exactly what it said on the tin - 365 random acts of kindness. It was a follow on from his Join Me book which I read a few months ago, where people joined his cult and did random good deeds. I read the whole book in the hour that I was in Starbucks and came away with a good feeling in the pit of my belly. The kind of feeling that made me think “I want to do something nice for someone”. I haven’t really done anything for a stranger yet, though I did buy my mum a thank you card for being so worried about me the other night, which I gave her earlier. She seemed pleased. Now I just have to do something nice for someone I don’t know.
On the way home, I decided to pop into the local hospital to do the blood test that the doctor gave me the forms for on Monday, to ascertain why I’m so tired all the time. After giving two test tubes (or are they vials?) of blood, I wandered out the car park and got ambushed by a large black lady who needed help getting her car started. I decided not to mention the chest infection, and duly said that I’d give her a hand.
The car park at St Johns Hospital is built on a small hill, and as my luck would have it, she had parked at the bottom of the bloody hill. Getting the car moving was the hardest part, so much so that I almost asked if she still had the handbreak on just before it started gaining some momentum. We got it to the top of the hill, which although only about 50 yards away, was some going. She jumped in the car, turned over the motor and was away! … backwards… all the way back to where she started. Bugger.
I got behind the car again, ignoring my lungs which felt like they were on fire, and suggested that this time we get the car to the very top of the hill, explaining (when asked) that then she could roll the car down hill going forwards and use that momentum to start it up.
We got the car moving again, reaching the apex of the hill before stopping and realising that between us we didn’t have the energy to do anything other than stop it rolling backwards again. Fortunately there was a guy about my age nearby doing the normal English thing of just watching. I caught his eye, moved to one side of the car and asked for his help in pushing, which he duly gave. I doubt that he’d have done it without being asked though. We got the car to the top of the hill and similar to the Grand Old Duke of York and his ten thousand men, rolled it down again. She turned the key, the car started, she turned the wheel, narrowly missing a parked car and pulled the handbrake on. Turning to roll down her window and say thanks, the car spluttered and the engine cut out again. Fortunately she had half a hill still to roll down, and the car started again and stayed working and she was on her way.
I got in the car, chest burning, and took some deep breaths. I think I can count that as a random act of kindness, don’t you? I say random. Perhaps she just saw the book I was holding and decided to take advantage!
Anyway, that’s the day so far. How are you? Have you been working out? You look fantastic!