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Blog : Posts tagged with 'lost'


Bundled away

In which we see someone get lost and disappear

As we got back home at half-three in the morning, I noticed a man sitting on the other side of the street, sitting on a front-yard wall. I’m always wary of people loitering in the small hours. We got out of the car, and I could hear him mumbling, his hand to his head. I assume he was talking on the phone. I couldn’t make much of it out.

“Yeah, I’m just off Sunk Island Road somewhere. Yeah.”

Which he wasn’t. In fact, he was nowhere near Sunk Island Road. He was on Iambic Ave, which is off Pentameter Road West, which is on entirely the wrong side of the city. Here’s a map. It’s not a very good map, but it’s a map nevertheless:

Pentameter Rd. W. —— Pentameter Rd. —— city centre —— Sunk Is. Rd.
< ------------------------ a long long long long way ------------------------>

Flash forward. Twelve hours later. We’d been out again, and we’d come back again. And as I was parking the car, I noticed a man sitting on the other side of the street, sitting on a front-yard wall.

I looked at him.

I wasn’t sure it was the same man. Similar clothes. It had been too dark to get a look at him.

Just as we were getting the shopping out of the boot, up pulled two police cars, one with its rear side window missing. No glass there; the space was filled with a metal grille. They stopped alongside the man sitting asleep on the wall. I watched the coppers approach him, one holding his handcuffs out of sight behind his back. As one of them checked all the rubbish bins in the yard, the others scooped him up and walked him into the waiting car. Bundled away, as if he was never there.

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In which the cat is lost

Talking about pets: the cat has vanished. Not near home, either.

The mother was taking him to the vet, on Monday, in his cat box. She was a few paces away from the surgery – a mile or so from home – and the cat box, in her words, “fell apart”. It’s a plastic affair, with a removable lid, and it’s picked up by the lid too; so if you haven’t done up the catches right, it will fall apart. And The Mother has never shown any ability to be able to do up the catches right. I have shown her how to do it many, many times, but she still refuses to learn.

The cat immediately scarpered, and hasn’t been seen since. Since then we’ve had thunderstorms and constant rain, and The Mother – when she isn’t out looking for him – keeps saying things like “oh the poor dear, I hope he’s found shelter somewhere.” Which makes me think: no, you’re not allowed to say that. You would be allowed to say that if the whole thing wasn’t completely your own fault.

More than anything, I’m angry. I’m always angry with my parents at some level, because they are intensely annoying people. This, though, has left me angrier than normal. My mother has always been annoyingly semi-competant, being able to grasp 90% of an idea, but missing out the 10% that actually gives it its shape and flavour.* Most of the time it isn’t a big problem, but occasionally, it matters.

* Like the time she saw “Thai curry sauce” in the supermarket, the sort that you add to stir-fried vegetables, and thought “Ooh, I’ll make a Thai curry.” So she cooked some mince, heated it up in a pan with some tinned kidney beans, and added the stir-fry sauce to it. Ta-daa, “Thai curry”. It wasn’t inedible, but she didn’t seem to understand that she’d actually made something entirely different.

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In which we get lost

Bloody hell, I must have been sleepy when I wrote that last post. I can tell I must have been, because even reading it back now it makes hardly any sense at all.* My shoulders are still aching, but I’m a little more awake now.

What it was actually about: a snap decision to take a couple of days off and visit some friends Down South, in a little suburb just inside the M25.** I’m lucky, really: I might whinge about my job constantly, but there are some good things to it, and one of them is that there aren’t any anal restrictions on giving notice when you want a holiday. My boss is completely fine with either me or Big Dave walking into his office on, say, a Tuesday, to say: “can I have a couple of days off at the end of the week?”

So, anyway, the following day I left work, and set off down to Surrey, thinking it would be a nice easy drive. And, indeed, it was, because by the time I got onto the motorway system the rush hour was already over. I didn’t even have any problems zooming around the M25 – even that was quiet, after all the Dover traffic had turned off at Dartford. The place was easy to find: just turn off the motorway, up the main road towards Croydon, past the big Ann Summers factory*** and you’re nearly there. No need to look at the map, or anything.

So, I was rather floored when I turned off the motorway to find a big ROAD CLOSED sign.


I don’t think I ever have come across a blocked road before – so what are the chances of it happening when you’re in a strange area you’ve never been to, have no idea what the alternative routes are, how to get to them, what to do now? When I found the map book, it got worse – there weren’t any sensible alternative routes, that didn’t involve long detours into Croydon and back out. Statistically, the chances of finding your route blocked are rather slim – so why does it have to happen at the worst place you could come across one?

Anyway, as I said last night, today I’m off out again; to Last Of The Summer Wine country this time. Hopefully it won’t happen again. My shoulders are still going to be sore, though.****

* I mean, I know what each line is about, but god knows how the hell anybody else would.

** A place called Whyteleaf, which was indeed rather leafy. I’ve never really visited the North Downs much, and didn’t realise they extended almost all the way north to Croydon, so I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty, and hilly, the area was.

*** I’m not being a perv – it really is a big local landmark

**** Well, you never know. There’s no harm in wishful thinking…

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