I had this beautiful dream once.
A dream where I would be free, the wind blowing through my hair, as I cycled to work on my little Brompton. If I needed to I’d fold it up and carry it on the tube for longer distances. I’d cycle to work everyday, then I’d cycle home.
I’d have a little wicker basket for groceries, which in time could also accommodate a small dog. I could go to the country by train with my bike and then cycle around the fields with my wicker basket and my little dog. It would all be so serene, so perfect, so ideal. No more running for tubes and cramped compartments, just me on my two wheels, easy rider.
That’s never going to happen now.
I’d like to open with my feelings about this issue by saying I hate those strikers. Real actual hate. I wish them hell. I wish them to only be able to smell potty and sundaas and nothing else for the rest of their goddamn striking bastard lives. I curse them to an eternity of the most tiresome and tedious of sniveling colds.
I had to get up at 6:15 to try to get in to work on time. Ridiculous. Bollocks.
After much experimentation with my alarm clock I have finally settled on a 45 minute snooze routine as the only thing that will get me out of bed. There are also 3 set alarms that go off every 15 minutes. All those alarms also have 9 min snoozes. So every 5 minutes or so an alarm or a snooze goes off. The ex is unbelievably tolerant of this and am I am deeply grateful because nothing short of incessant alarms will get my ass out of bed.
Which is why I had to get up at 6:15 to try to leave the house by 7:15-7:30. (If I quote times and there is a later one I rarely if ever opt for the earlier one. I’m always late and then worrying about being late. It’s a vicious cycle.)
Angel to Kings Cross was gridlocked badly. I debated furiously back and forth in my mind over whether I should try to cycle at least to Kings Cross or if I was brave, maybe even to work. I saw all the cyclists cruising along, weaving their way through the traffic and I was filled with envy. Here I was trudging along on the pavement like a schmo.
After much hesitation, I finally took the plunge and walked towards the docking station near Sainsburys. All the bikes were docked. Somehow I was partly expecting (hoping if I’m honest) all of them to be taken (strike and gridlock and all that). I saw a girl try to unlock one and it didn’t work. I took a deep breath and stuck my key in. My key didn’t work. I tried again and failed. My duty done, I didn’t bother anymore. I was secretly rather relived not to have to attempt to cycle to work sans map (forgot it).
Well, the easy rider dream is dead. I couldn’t do it. And I doubt I’d be weaving amongst the traffic, I’d probably just hit a car or end up pushing the bike along to Kings cross on the pavement, where it’s nice and safe. I am afraid of traffic and cars and I can’t seem to turn right. Anyway I’d rather just read my book on the bus.
Got to work by 9:15, no mean feat considering the chaos across London.
The office shutters were down and P had been waiting outside since a quarter to 9. Really odd.
Where was A2? and J? And AL?
He shrugs, (he’s very French that way, a lot of shrugging) who can say?
Have you called them?
So we call A2, call J – get voicemail for both. Eventually after another 10 minutes we head off to a posh little west London café. I think something must have gone wrong for A2 to be so late (it is now 10:15 and he lives close by).
A1 must be flipping out. I ask P if he’s told A1, but P says he doesn’t want to rat anyone out (this puzzled me, how would it be ratting out? A2 might have legitimate reasons and besides A1 would notice no one had been online for an hour) Besides it’s not his problem, P says. Fine, fine. More shrugs. He is trés French.
I suddenly feel very contented. Strike day is tiresome as hell but here we are, unexpectedly sitting outside in the sun (it’s a lovely and warm day for October) drinking hot chocolate with mascarpone while smoking and I simultaneously feel so European and chic, yet there is also this delicious sense that we’re bunking a class.
Sure enough though, when A2 shows up eventually and gets on Skype, A1 is flipping the fuck right out.
And when A1 flips out he really, really flips.
He is shouting at the top of his lungs
“WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYONE??!! I DONT CARE IF ITS A STRIKE! I DONT CARE! WHY ARE YOU LATE ?? P YOUR AN HOUR LATE!! YES YOU SHOULD HAVE KEYS! WHY DONT YOU HAVE KEYS?! WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME? A TEXT OR AN EMAIL? NO, A2, I DID NOT GET YOUR EMAIL! NO YOU DIDN’T SEND IT BEFORE 9! YOU KNOW I’VE BEEN WAITING!!”
Poor P is slightly annoyed at the unfair accusation thrown at him. Then he makes that pffttsh dismissive noise at Skype that the French make, which I really enjoy.
A1 kept on shouting, even though A2 was trying to explain that it took him 45 mins to get in and P didn’t have keys and J was travelling from zone 4. A1 shouted for quite a bit more, then calmed down suddenly. I worried I’d also get shouted at but luckily I wasn’t mentioned. I think A1 doesn’t shout at girls even when he wants to, so far he only has shouted at MD, A2 and P (whew)
We now refer to him as ‘shouty shouty. A2 being the good brother went and told him that we did. A1 felt bad but laughed.
They are quite nice bosses.
Now how can you be mad at that?