I don’t know why, but I had fallen out with today even before I was properly awake this morning.
Now that’s not like me. Usually I am full of positive energy when I wake up, even on the days when I wake up sick or in pain, but today was one of those rare anomalies where the day just was not going to be my friend and I could sense it right on the B of the bang today.
I can’t even tell you why I should feel like that today, and all in all it hasn’t been a bad day – well apart from one little incident which I’ll tell you about in a minute – and it has been full of positive and uplifting things. It’s just that the day today was going to be one of those days that I wished I could skip forward through.
So, the “incident”. I started to feel a bit unwell around 4 o’clock this afternoon. Nothing serious, nothing sinister, just a bit achey and I had a sore throat that appeared literally within a few minutes. They happen sometimes don’t they? A bit of a scratch when you swallow one minute, and then the next time you swallow it hurts, then it REALLY hurts and before you know it there’s a big wide stripe down one side of your neck that feels like hell. Well that was me today. I took my sore throat with me when I took Ethan to music at about 4.45pm, and for some bizarre (but much appreciated) reason, I decided to take my scarf with me too.
Shortly into the journey, and at a particularly dangerous point on the motorway, the car decided it was not going to go any further and cut out on me. I was in the second lane of a five-lane stretch at the time, and the inside lane was the “straight on” lane at a motorway junction, if that makes sense? If you are local to me, if I say the slip road after Heaton Park that takes you straight round the Simister Island roundabout to carry on on the M60 you’ll know where I mean.
I didn’t panic straight away, but because I was causing an obstruction (in rush hour, on a notoriously bad stretch of motorway) I rang the police to tell them. I had cars whizzing up my left hand side on the “straight-on slip road” and on my right hand side who were going up to the roundabout proper. They were scary enough but I could also see cars and trucks and lorries coming up fast behind me – and that is a particular fear I have never experienced before and never want to again thank you very much!
I managed to get the car to turn over, and I eventually limped to the hard shoulder. All the while, the police operator was on the phone and was BRILLIANT with me. Thanks also should go to Ethan who was holding the phone to my ear at this point and helping me keep calm…. ish.
I came off the phone to the police, who had assured me that help was on its way so we got out of the car and hopped over the barrier, as you’re supposed to do, and I rang Kevin to tell him what had happened and to ask him could he ring ahead and tell them Ethan was either going to be late or missing altogether. As I was speaking to him, another car pulled off the carriageway and onto the hard shoulder behind me. I was a bit nervous at that because the man was all dressed in black with a hat pulled down to his eyes. As I was telling Kevin that he was there, the police rang back on Ethan’s phone so I had to speak them instead of Kevin which was a good thing because the man said to me “shift your car”. I said “pardon?” thinking I’d misheard him over the noise of the traffic, and he repeated it, saying “you’re in my way, shift your car”. I pointed out to him – politely, ahem – that as he could clearly see, I was on the hard shoulder and that was because my car had broken down and it wasn’t going anywhere.
He got really aggressive and started waving his arms about saying I was useless and had to move and all that, which I was glad I was on the phone to the police because I told them he was frightening me and was threatening me. They were brilliant and told me that we were on camera and they could see us, so not to worry, they had evidence should he become violent. Well that was a comfort!
Anyway, to cut a long and VERY cold story short, the RAC man turned up to get us going again but the car was very poorly all the way home. He followed us back with his lights flashing, which was very kind of him, and he had a look properly when we’d got back home. He was brilliant, and he also had “words” with the strange/stupid/frightening man on the hard shoulder when he got shouty at me again. Thank you Mr RAC man!
All the time we were waiting by the side of the motorway I could feel myself getting colder and colder, and you know when you get so cold your shivers come in lumps? Well that was me. I was so glad I had thought to pick up my scarf going out the door, but it only did so much towards keeping me warm in my very thin hoodie. Brrr! It has taken me all evening to get warm again and my throat is now absolutely killing me. My collar bone and my ear on that side are hurting too now, and paracetamol hasn’t done anything to lessen the pain. Oh boy.
So that’s the ending of the day, but it doesn’t really account for why I should have fallen out with the day before it had even begun. Strange eh?
To combat my feelings of negativity, I’m going to list ten of my blessings today to end the day with a positive. Here goes:
1. It was our first Stay and Play of the new year today and we had 26 kids with their carers in attendance. Fantastic!
2. My friend Dorothy made me a lovely cup of tea when I arrived.
3. It was lovely to see my friend Steph and to have a catch up chat with her about her little girl who is autistic and has other health problems which are causing her some concern.
4. Singing with the babies this morning was a complete JOY! There was one little girl in particular who really got into it and her smile at the “wipers on the bus” was infectious.
5. I had a break-through with one little girl who had been really scared of leaving her mum’s side before and we sat and had a lovely “chat” whilst playing with Lego this morning.
6. My friend Phil came to keep me company this afternoon and we enjoyed putting the world to rights.
7. Ethan’s gig bag for his trombone was delivered today which means he won’t have to rely on us so much for lifts because he can now carry his instrument on the bus (hurrah!).
8. I was able to help Emma complete a piece of coursework today which has been stressing her out for a week or more. I now know more about the law of equity than I will ever have to use, but there you go, it’s what you do to help your kids isn’t it?!
9. The RAC man was so lovely, especially when I was frightened of the weird man at the side of the road.
10. I have a lovely warm, comfy and comforting bed to climb into tonight, for which my aching body and my aching head are so thankful.
And a bonus blessing:
11. When I did begin to panic in the car and I had a seemingly endless stream of articulated lorries bearing down on us in the rear-view mirror, I prayed to God to be with us whatever may happen. As you can see by this post, nothing hit us and we escaped the situation unscathed and unharmed. I thank him for hearing me in those moments of desperation and panic.