Risk taking could easily have ended in disaster last weekend. I have chosen to use the term risk taking as this sounds more positive than the alternative description of my behaviour which I was initially going to use. (I will reveal the word later. No doubt readers will come up with their own descriptions). The situation was that I had to get several items from the house to the car boot and by using a rather complicated mixture of over the shoulder, under the arm and handheld I managed to condense a possible two runs into one. My pride in this achievement turned out to be premature. Having no hand free to open the boot was a significant flaw in my plan. It had been raining and the ground was very wet so I chose not to put anything down on the ground. Another option was to return to the house and lighten my load but this would have confirmed that my original plan was ill thought out. Then a thought occurred to me : ) Could I manage to hold the bag for life, which contained my laptop, in my teeth while I opened the boot? Very possibly yes! After all circus performers can hold the weight of another person by their teeth. It seemed a risk worth taking and all was going well until I was at full stretch pushing the boot up and then one of my shoulder bags slipped. I’m not sure exactly how it happened but somehow my reaction to the slippage resulted in the crash landing of the laptop onto the road. Oh dear. I think it was f***, f***, f*** at the time but my feelings have mellowed since finding out that the laptop is still in working order. Have I learnt a lesson from this? Probably not – my risk taking aka laziness (word reveal) is always a dominant factor in my decision making. As is my faith in my physical abilities, such as holding items in my teeth.
My weekend in Wales was an organised weekend. A weekend designed for women to get together. A weekend where mind, body and spirit would be nourished. I went with high, albeit undefined, expectations. I came away with high, albeit undefined, hopes that I will succeed in organising my own version of a nourishing weekend along with my very good friends who were there. Although there were some ‘best bits’ there were also some bits which I would edit out. Pampering would stay but I question whether coating hands in oats and oil should be classed as pampering. Some people appeared to enjoy covering their hands with what was basically cold slimy porridge and then spending the next ten minutes trying to catch bits that fell off and headed for the floor. Perhaps they were feigning enjoyment, like me. It was also a bit stressful thinking about the amount of porridge/handmask that got washed down the sink. All activities at my weekend would be carefully thought through. I don’t think our leader did this on one occasion. After being told a story about African women collecting water and nourishing the plants, I was wondering where the plant was that the leader was going to water with the bowl of water she was holding. As she dabbled her fingers in it, the realisation of what she was planning hit me. WE were going to be the plants. What is appropriate in a circus big top is unlikely to transfer well to this type of gathering. In fact as the water hit some of us, I’m sure steam was rising! On the plus side the toilet facilities were fine and it was a gap in my own knowledge of bathroom fixtures that caused me a little embarrassment.
The basin plug was one of those silver discs that slip into the plug hole. After washing on the first morning I tried to raise the silver plug. I couldn’t find a lever to lift it although I did search for one. I even checked the pedestal and under the bowl in case it was some unusual design. Neither would the plug tilt/spin easily when pressed so I spent an anxious ten minutes trying to prise it up with my finger nail, pushing it at one side to try and tip it and searching around the bathroom to see if there was any narrow implement that might be more successful than my finger nail – there wasn’t. Finally I sheepishly went into the living and admitted I had got the plug stuck and left a basin full of water. “Is the lever broke?” I was asked. “There isn’t one” I replied. “Yes there is. It’s behind the tap”. “Oh”. I returned to the bathroom and the very small lever was indeed behind the very large mixer tap. Hiding the lever like that is very poor design.
The worst part of the weekend for me was ‘the walk’. I’ll skip the detail of how we got down to the beach and the beach walk and move straight onto the return to the car park. It was a complicated situation. Some of our group had walked for miles. Others, including me had opted for the short stroll. The path back up to the car park was long and steep. Hazel, having walked for miles, was not keen on walking up to the car park and asked if I would go up and collect her car and bring it down to the beach. The thought of driving my own car down that narrow slope and navigating past parked cars would have filled me with dread. Driving someone else’s car on a wide flat road would have been close to a nightmare for me. The two together was something I just could not put myself through. Hazel is a confident driver and I don’t think she could comprehend my reasons for refusing. This left me feeling that she thought I just couldn’t be bothered to walk to the car park so when Annie offered to go and get the car I said I’d go with her. In my mind it was an attempt to show that my refusal was based on my driving misgivings and not on laziness. It is unlikely anyone else had any interest in my motives so I embarked on a completely pointless walk up a steep hill. Something I would normally avoid at all costs. As Annie and Katie strode on I made a vain attempt to keep up with them. My heavy breathing increased with each step but by then the other two were too far ahead to hear. I did want to shout “wait for me” but I couldn’t spare the breath to utter a word. By unfortunate coincidence, an almost identical walk was recreated a week later when I struggled to appear unconcerned as I gasped for breath on the climb up Steep Hill in Lincoln. Anyway we reached the car park in Wales and Annie drove the car, with me in it, down to the beach. So after 15 minutes of self-inflicted torture I was back where I started. My mind clearly needs more than a weekend of nurturing to help it make rational decisions.