Lordy, what a day. Totally exhausting but some moments were great. Seriously great. First off, I turned up at the University at 9am for 3 hours of Open Day cover with Laura from the Health Centre, who was wonderful company. Thank you, Laura. Meeting people and trying to sound normal isn't my favourite activity ever, but I think on the whole it went okay. Though there were one or two people who just stared at me as if I were an alien. Perhaps I am? That would explain a lot ... However, most students/parents were lovely. And the venue was better too - we were in the University Hall rather than Seasons Restaurant, so I could actually hear what people were saying, hurrah.
From there, I rushed to my car to gobble down a sandwich before driving to Kent. I started the car, turned towards the exit and the people carrier in front of me stopped. I stopped too, put on my handbrake and then said people carrier reversed right into me. Serious and loud groan ... Just what I needed at that point. Not. Big Not. We got out and exchanged details though there wasn't really any damage to either vehicle. We then got back in our cars and he tried to do it again. Arrggghhh!!! Believe me, the air in Rupert (my car) was blue. Very blue. However, this time the people carrier did manage to miss me - phew - and then drove off. Lord preserve us. Perhaps he'll get me third time???
Anyway, I then drove to Maidstone through what seemed like torrential rain and wind, which make the delights of the M25, the M26 and the M20 so much less attractive, you know. Once at Aylesford Priory - where I was meeting my friend for tea - I parked and attempted to ring the insurance company to report the incident. Ye gods, how many buttons do I have to press before I get to a real person??? Press 2 if your stress levels are low, 3 if they're high; press 1 if you have red hair and are sobbing, and 2 if you are over six feet tall and are too big to drive a Fiesta ... God preserve us indeed. When I finally got through to a very snippety lady, she said that reporting the incident would take me 20 minutes. When I said I couldn't afford 20 minutes as my friend was waiting in the tea room and could I just tell her the names and registration numbers and the time of the accident, she got even more snippety and said that would be impossible. Ye gods, how hard is it to write down 5 small pieces of information without making a song and dance about it??? In the end I told her not to bother and I'd ring the out-of-hours service later. Then I put the phone down. These days, frankly I can't be arsed to be pleasant.
Walking towards the tea-room, I was zinging with stress, but then Pauline (Kent friend) rushed up and gave me a huge hug, let me sound off for five minutes and then we had tea. Bliss. Sometimes it's just sooooo good to know someone who'll let me scream and shout without taking it personally. I'm a red-head. I survive by yelling. It doesn't mean anything. And after all that, Pauline and I had an absolutely wonderful and uplifting chat, which included airing and solving all known problems of both of us, and honestly it's just made me feel human again. Which doesn't happen often, I can tell you. If I were a lesbian, I'd probably marry her and have her babies, though Lord H - and indeed Mr Pauline - may well object to that life plan. Ah well.
Funny also how we can both really talk about God and church and stuff to each other in a way I'm not able to do with other people. We're both survivors (and yes I do use that word advisedly) of the same rather horrendous evangelical church experience, and we're both at the stage where we only go to church once a month or so and don't, under any circumstances, want to commit to anything more demanding than that. I think we feel we've been burned by the evangelical church and shuffled into a corner by the anglican one. Which leaves us both feeling a rather large spiritual (sorry for the "s" word, but it is what I mean and I don't think I can say it isn't) gap where the wind whistles through, and which isn't filled by any of the available offerings in our area. Lordy, but sometimes I long for a different type of church, and it's a real pull, but I have no idea towards what. I'm not even sure if it's been invented yet. Sigh.
Anyway, talking with Pauline made me feel more human, so I'm grateful for that. We're already planning our next get-together, hopefully before Christmas. And the drive home was better, if still rainy. Once home, I talked to the insurance company out-of-hours service who were lovely and took down all the information in 5 minutes. So, hell, it can be done. But, my dears, I am totally exhausted on all levels and only good for grunting and staring at the TV this evening. Don't give a damn what's on it either. So no change in any of that then ...
In fact, I feel very much like this picture - a weary figure hobbling up the stairs, though (trust me) I would be wearing clothes. But hey it's making me smile.
Today's nice things:
1. Some nice people at the open day
2. Talking to Pauline
3. TV and grunting
4. Naked men on stairs.