Being one of those unfortunates, who didn’t escape the lurgy last week, woe was me! I slept for 12 hours a night, three nights in a row, knowing full well that wasn’t a good sign. I just kept turning over and snuggling up under the covers, sure what’s seldom is wonderful. Then, sure enough, the unwelcome visitor that takes all of your energy, gives you a massive headache, muscle aches and lowers your mood, arrived. If I were of the male gender I’d call it ‘man flu’, but nah, that would detract from its impact, it was one of the dreaded unnamed viruses, that are part of the lurking winter woes, commonly referred to as ‘the lurgy’.
Day 3 and I gave in, took to my bed so to speak, watched catch up tv and didn’t feel a bit guilty about it. In fact, I was just about to settle into an afternoon nap, when, BUUZZZZ went the buzzer for my flat. Who could that be? Noooh, not the plumber, who was to have phoned to make an appointment to look at a leak under the bath! Had he done, a least I would have dressed for the occasion, changed from my pjs, had a shower, even washed the grease out of the hair that was stuck to my head.
Picking up the speaker phone, my heart sank, as in response to my hoarse ‘Hello’, sure as God, it was the man himself. What could I do? Having announced that I had been expecting a call to make an appointment, I blurted out that I wasn’t well, continuing by inviting him up anyway. Sure I couldn’t have left the poor lad on the doorstep, in the rain and the feckin bath needed to be sorted. Well I was hardly on the pull, what did it matter, if he saw me in this state.
Grey heart shapes, once snowy white, garnished faded pink fluffy pj pants, covering my bottom half and quick thinking would have allowed me to reach for the nice fresh pink dressing gown with actual white hearts, recently bestowed upon me by one of my lovely daughters in law. However. not only does the terrible lurgy rob you of energy, it slows down the mind also. So, a worn pink zippy, with jammy top underneath, covered my top half, with pink bed socks to match. At least I was co-ordinated, including the pink face that completed the picture.
In came the plumber, all business, pleasant looking fella, eager to get the job done, likely uncomfortable to see this obviously lurgy infested aul one. Greeting him as well as possible, in the circumstances, having established the reason for his visit, I proceeded to show him the bath, which is to the right of the door of the L shaped bathroom. Having pointed this out, I mentioned one of the other issues in the same room, which was the cistern of the toilet. It was while taking some steps in that direction, to show him the problem with the flush that, Mother of Divine Jesus, I noticed an article on the floor, which suffice it to say, needed to be retrieved, rapidly. Sure if I’d known he was coming, well, while I wouldn’t have exactly baked a cake, I’d have done a quick run around, at least in the areas where he’d be working. There was nothing for it but to bend down and pick the offending thingamabob up, quickly slipping it into my pocket in case he had seen it. However, the bend, in itself, revealed rather more of my lower half than I would have liked and to be sure, my bum crack must have been visible, together with the top of my knickers. Thanks be to Jesus they were a newish pair, that was about all the positivity that could have been taken out of this situation and as the perky fella passed by to check the toilet flush, I quickly grabbed the grey knickers off the radiator, shoving them into my pocket also. Worse was to come, well in fairness, it could have been worse, I’ll never know. Maybe that’s for the best, left to raucous conversations with his mates down the pub.
Keen to check whether the flush was working, the eager lad pressed it and lifted the toilet seat at the same time. The window in the bathroom was open and there was a good reason for that, in fact I had simultaneously flushed that toilet and opened that window a little earlier, putting down the seat as I did so, being a supersticious aul one who believes that if the toilet seat is kept down, money will flow in to your house. Having washed my hands, I had been about to double check, with the way that flusher had been playing up, but was distracted by my phone ringing and it went completely out of my mind. So whatever was in that loo, when he lifted the seat will remain a mystery, to me at least.
To his credit the lad was industrious and having told him I’d be in my bed if he needed me, Jaysus, that sounds wrong but if you saw the state of me, it was very obvious, it wasn’t an invitation. Bless his heart, he popped his head around the door, to say he was finished in the bathroom and out of the bed I leapt, to lead him to other areas of apparent disrepair, having had a quick tidy in my tiny kitchen, while he’d been busy.
Some time, a bath repair, radiator and taps check later, he was done. Saying a cheery goodbye, I waved him on his way, closed the door and spotted a nice white bra on the radiator in the hall. ‘Jaysus’, I thought, ‘I hope he got a glimpse of that, I might redeem myself in the grey underwear and faded pjs department’. Walking into my bedroom I bent down. and up, not once, but about five times, with my hand at the end of my back checking how far the pjs rolled back as I did so, in the hope that maybe there was nothing to worry about. However, no matter how many times I repeated it, there was the same result, builder’s bum was the dish of the day!
The lurgy wasn’t finished playing havoc with me yet. A couple of days later, feeling a lot better, I decided to get out and do some shopping. Hair and make up freshly done, not a faded item of clothing in sight, looking a little more normal, whatever that may be, I was about to walk out the opened door, when it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn’t remember where I had parked my car. Closing the door gently again, still unlocked, I walked towards the bay window that gives my first floor flat so much light and being on a corner enabled me to look down the length of the street. There, towards the very end, I saw a flash of red and congratulating myself on my detective skills, walked back to the unlocked door, opened it, smiling and made my way down to the street.
Well, I walked the length and breadth of that street and sure of course there were red cars, but no sign of ‘my’ red car. ‘For the love of God’, I thought, ‘did I leave it somewhere, has the lurgy played with my head? Sure maybe I had one of those great nights out and had such a good time that I can’t remember coming home and it’s not the lurgy I’ve had at all, but a five day hangover.’ ‘Now’, I said to myself, ‘you know you had the lurgy, so the car must have been stolen. You’d best ring the cops’. But first, to hedge my bets, I said a quick prayer to St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things. He is no cop but he’s a better detective than I.
Well my massive purple bag, a lovely present from a friend for Christmas, was full of ‘shite’ for want of a better word and it took me forever to fish around and find my phone. Anyone who knows me, realises that it takes calling at least twice, before they’ll get an answer, by the time I find my phone. That’s if I’ve even remembered to switch on the sound, having turned it off the night before.
Alternatively, grabbing a box of paracetamol, a small book, even my purse, before I found the evasive mobile, I dialled 999 while walking aimlessly along the seafront. When a voice answered, asking what my emergency was, I replied ‘My car has been robbed’. Subsequently transferred to the police, a very nice aul one spoke to me and sure she was very helpful, told me to stay calm and she’d take my details. Well, I continued walking and talking, pacing, as you do, when you’re all worked up, moving from the seafront towards another side road. Sure I’d have nothing to eat if I couldn’t find my car and get my shopping. Maybe they could get one of those drones to fly around and have a look for it. Unless the thieves had driven it to Gatwick airport, no drones would be able to fly around there, in the search for my elusive red car.
As I was giving the aul one my details, proud that I actually remembered the registration for once in my life (I always have to go back and forth to my car when I’m in one of those car parks where you have to put your registration number in the pay machine, because I never know the full reg), she kindly asked me where I had parked my vehicle and when it was stolen. Jaysus, I couldn’t answer that…sure it was five days ago, it could have been stolen any time since then and that was just it, I couldn’t remember where I had parked it. Getting more frustrated with the situation, all hopes of a drone finding my car fading, thinking how much easier it would have been because it was a left hand drive, suddenly I was brought back to earth with a bump, quite literally. Tripping over a small hole in the pavement, I fell forward, grabbing a railing to the left of me, just in time to save myself from hitting the ground. However, the mobile flew out of my hand and with a loud thud, hit the pavement, screen first.
Pulling myself together, quite literally, as my unbuttoned jacket was half off my shoulders at this stage, I rose to my full height, all five foot three inches of it, shrugged myself back into the coat and gazed at my broken phone in dismay. Hearing the muffled sounds of the emergency responder ‘Hello, are you there’, I lifted the mobile from the ground and was just about to put it to my ear to explain the situation, when, Holy Mary Mother of God, wasn’t there a left hand drive red car, parked on the road beside me. Without even looking at the reg, I quickly switched that phone off and looked to the sky….who needs a drone when you have ‘St. Anthony’ to find your lost property but Jaysus, what took him so long???