Brriiinnnggg!!! At 6:30 am on Tuesday morning the alarm clock rang in my ears and I arose and readied myself for the exciting day that lay ahead of me. An important day this and one that had me excited with expectation all week I was off on a quick errand to the lovely hamlet of Middlesbrough.
The crucial appointment time was set for 9 am, so I set off from home at twenty past seven for a rendezvous with the number 1 bus which would spirit me to the land of the smoggies in plenty of time.
Standing happily at the bus stop a short while later, what can only be described as a blizzard ensued. Horizontal pellets of ice propelled by a gale force wind were coming in straight off the sea. Everything was immediately covered in white and the traffic started skating all over the road. By the time the number 1 turned up I (and everyone else at the bus stop) was frozen. The bus then slipped and slid its way through Hartlepool almost demolishing a bus stop in Stockton Road in the process. It was clear that this journey was going to take a while longer than anticipated.
Just to add to the traffic chaos being caused by the weather it turns out that there was also an accident on the A19 at Billingham, completely closing the road for a while so everything was piling onto the road to Port Clarence. I finally arrived in Middlesbrough at half past nine about an hour late and busting for the loo.
Relieved of pressure I then set off for the 20 minute walk to my destination I had already rang ahead from the bus to let them know that I would be delayed so all was still well. The pavements were very icy and I had a couple of close calls but battled through and stayed on my feet long enough to reach my final destination. Instead of 20 minutes this bit of the journey actually took half an hour due to all the sliding about I was doing.
After completing a short transaction at my chosen destination I set off for the bus station again another half an hour of fun and frolics fighting the icy pavements thus ensued and then it was time to get back on the number 1 and head for home.
Number 1 Number 1 Where are you Oh why have you deserted me in my hour of need
Of course all the bus timetables were shot to blazes by the weather but the bus station staff were very professional and I was soon on my way back home again.
Another hour and a half of misery followed and I arrived home in a frozen state at midday to find that the central heating system had shut itself down and would not re-ignite for me under any circumstances. A quick call to er indoors mobile phone told me that I should call our home insurance engineering thingy number and get a nice man out for free to check the boiler. The home insurance engineering thingy people were very understanding and promised to send someone out ASAP. I made myself a cup of tea and sat huddled in my coat to wait.
Three oclock and the doorbell rang and the nice engineer lady (yes really!) came in, took one look at the boiler, pressed the igniter switch and whooofff it ignited straightaway. She turned it off and on several more times and then took it apart for a good look as she couldnt find any obvious problem. Fifteen minutes later she reported that she couldnt find any problem at all. She put everything back together and left me feeling a bit of a fool. She was very kind but must have assumed that I was either a moron who couldnt operate his own boiler or a stalker who had a fetish for boiler engineers!
With the heating restored to the house I decided to warm myself in a nice, hot bath. I ran the water, stripped off and got into the tub for a soak. All went very well and I emerged from the bath a healthy, radiant shade of pink. One problem no towel in the bathroom. I pit patted through to our bedroom to pick up a towel only to be greeted by the face of our window cleaner just reaching the top of his ladder. I grabbed the towel and beat a hasty retreat. The window cleaner simply carried on and cleaned all the windows in the house as if nothing had happened but he was smirking a lot however when he knocked the door to collect the money. I smiled sheepishly and blurted out you just caught me getting out of the bath but he just smirked a little more, took the cash and left. Great two people in one day thinking that Im some kind of weirdo!
When Mrs. H arrived home a while later from a hard day working down the mines she asked me what kind of a day Id had and I related my tales of woe. And she laughed!
I am a committed atheist – but if God does exist he obviously had something against me on Tuesday probably the fact that I am an atheist!