Running blind.


I should be writing this week’s blog post but to be honest, I’m whacked: all in. Had a bit of a mishap after work yesterday and it’s catching up with me. It all went wrong again. Story of my life. I failed to prepare and we all know how that ends. I might turn in early. Tomorrow’s another day and all that. I just need to sleep this one off. Chalk it up to experience. Live and learn.

Had a great idea for getting a bit of exercise. You remember that commute I’ve been banging on about? Course you do. Well, I had this idea I could use it to my advantage. I thought it’d be a bit clever on the trip home after work to get dropped off a couple of miles earlier than normal. And then jog the rest of the way home. With the chronic traffic jams at that time of evening there was a chance I might even get back before the bus would have dropped me off. That would’ve been brilliant. See. It’s a good idea, eh?

So I took my shorts and trainers and a T-shirt to school in the morning in a plastic bag and after work got changed, left my school stuff in my locker and went out to the bus. I was really up for it, even though the others took the piss. There were lots of jokes about my legs. Chicken drumsticks after the cat’s finished with them. That sort of thing. I didn’t mind. I was in good spirits. And I’m English. Laughing at ourselves is a national pastime. I need to get back into running and this is a way I could kill two birds with one stone – run and commute. My run would be part of my commute. Clever, no?

I knew roughly where I wanted the driver to drop me off, although I couldn’t pronounce it very well. On the way in in the morning I double checked the area. My geographical knowledge of the city outside a mile radius of where I live is something that would fit on the back of a postage stamp. Still, all I had to do was follow the main road and if all else failed I could take my bearings from the sun.

It was late afternoon before I remembered the clocks had gone back, or was it forwards? And it was going to be dark at home time. So much for the sun: my compass. No matter. A minor detail. About four o’clock it started raining. By five it was coming down in stair rods. I was in the bus by then. In shorts and T-shirt feeling like a berk. But being British and male I couldn’t really bottle it, could I? I’d never hear the last of it from the co-workers.

In the dark and pissing rain I managed to make the driver understand I wanted him to stop the bus and let me out. In shorts and T-shirt. He looked at me like I’d a screw come loose. He didn’t want to do it. Maybe he thought he’d get in trouble if I got ill or died of pneumonia or something. But I made him. We were nearly shouting at each other in the end. It was a bit embarrassing if I’m honest.

Apparently, he couldn’t just stop where I wanted him to on the main highway and so he had to leave it by a slip road and drop me at the roundabout and then rejoin. Maybe that’s why he was cross with me.

So he let me out by the side of the road. As I stood there doing a couple of stretches, watching the nice, dry, warm minibus get swallowed up in the traffic a lorry went past a bit close, through a puddle and drenched me with filthy, gritty water. Some of it went in my mouth, which wasn’t very nice.

I started running in the dark and the rain. It was a bit cold too without the sun up, and windy. I was in shorts and a T-shirt and quickly wet through.

It was about twenty minutes later that I realised I was lost. I should have been recognising my surroundings, but I saw nothing familiar. The main road had felt dangerous. I was exposed. I’d tried to find my way on the side roads. But they’d meandered a bit and maybe I should have gone left one time when I went right.

I didn’t have my phone on me or money because I was just wearing shorts and a T-shirt and I wasn’t supposed to be long. I hadn’t even thought to bring a bottle of water. After those twenty minutes I was further away from home than when the bus dropped me off. I know this because I checked on Google maps today.

I got home eventually, of course. It took me just under four hours. But I made it. My legs are hurting a lot today even though obviously I didn’t run for four hours. That would have been like doing a marathon or something. I think I probably walked for over three of them. Maybe that’s why it took so long. God I’m knackered. Should have seen me walking today: John Wayne trying out a couple of new hip replacements. Got some stick for it. Said I pulled a muscle. That’s all.

I think I’m safe sharing this here. No one from work knows anything about me. They don’t know I blog and write. I prefer it that way.

8 thoughts on “Running blind.

  1. Oh dear, oh dear. I’m really sorry Oliver, but right now I’m laying in my comfortable warm bed pissing myself laughing at your misfortune. You are very funny and it is mostly ha ha funny.

    • Hi Russell
      Sorry for the delay in my reply. I only left bed yesterday to eat and see to my ablutions. I’m aching in places I didn’t even know I had. Not sure whether there will be any lasting damage to the temple that is my body. Still, I’m cheered that you and Pat got a laugh out of my stupidity. It almost makes it worth it. Almost.
      Best wishes.

  2. I’m sitting here, tears coursing down my cheeks, Oliver. No, they are not tears of sorrow, they are tears of laughter. People must have thought you’d gone ga-ga. What must your wife think? or did you tell her you were kept in after school, and that someone had pinched your clothing when you were on the commute bus? My solution would be to buy a bike and a sat nav. I’m still laughing,
    Perhaps you ought to take up the WordPress challenge of blogging every day for the whole of November. Starts on the 1st and ends 30th. You’re hilarious.

    • Hi Pat
      Please see above for my excuses for the late reply.
      I hardly saw anyone else on my ‘adventure’. I think this was because it was cold and raining and dark and normal people were indoors.
      Funny you should mention the reaction of she-who-must-be-dismayed. I was hours later than usual, soaked to the skin, caked in road-dirt from the knees down. When she opened the front door I crossed the threshold on all fours. She simply shook her head, sighed rather excessively and went back to her soap opera. What do they say? You reap what you sow?
      Best wishes.

    • Hi
      I’ve just logged on to this post to respond to another comment and I see that I missed yours. I feel bad about it because I pride myself on replying to all comments. And yours gave me a smile. Thanks for it. (A year later!)
      Best wishes

  3. I am retired and living in Spain.
    My acquisition of a Kindle reader, some 5 years ago, has meant that reading is now my principal hobby, and I read about 70/80 books a year. Predominantly detective/mystery genre.
    I have recently ´discovered´ your books and now read all that are available on Amazon
    Excellent stories and, most important, written in ENGLISH GRAMMAR
    Although most British writers are good with grammar, in the case of American writers, with the obvious exceptions of Grisham, Baldacci, & co., I´m afraid 80% of them are illiterate and clearly never have their work proof read.
    e.g. double negatives everywhere – acceptable when part of a poorly educated characters dialog, but not when in the authors text; or the expression “couldn´t care less” changed, inexplicably to “could care less” which logically suggests a level of caring above absolute zero, clearly not what was intended.
    Or the casual dropping of the preposition “of” or putting it in where inappropriate.

    • Hi Leslie
      Many thanks for your time and trouble to get in touch. I always appreciate hearing from readers who have enjoyed one or more of my books. Thanks also for your downloads of my stories.
      You clearly read a lot in this genre, so for me to learn that you rate my efforts is very encouraging. Thank you.
      I do know what you mean about grammar. Mine hasn’t always been so accurate but I’ve learned from my mistakes and I now have a proofreading friend who is rather good at all that.
      Best wishes

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