Wet, wet, wet and wondering…? – first published 18 February 2014

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Mid February 2014 and the weather was supposed to be taking a turn for the better so I was more than a little disappointed to wake to more rain. It might not have mattered quite as much if I didn’t have an appointment in town with some paperwork for a job interview and a terrible loathing of paying for buses to places I could easily walk. In the end the whole thing turned into a very frustrating and slightly worrying event that left me feeling as if I’d been scammed.

18 February 2014

Yesterday morning I applied for a PA job, supposedly working from home but with two days a month in London. At lunch time I got a call from the agency advertising it. They wanted to put me forward but needed to make some alterations to my CV first and would email them to me for approval before they sent them off. The email never came and I forgot about it until the phone rang early in the evening. The agency guy had spoken to the company about me and they want to interview me on Friday. Before that though I had to go in and give the agency all my documents.

Typically, despite a forecast for good weather, it was raining this morning. By the time I’d faffed around getting ready things looked a little brighter. Well they did until I walked out the door then the heavens opened as usual. That little black cloud is back. The need to look relatively presentable when I arrived meant I got the bus.

The agency was heaving when I got there and, rather than wait, I had a little wander round the parks. The rain had stopped by then and the wet parks looked and smelled lovely, all wet earth and jewel colours. The silver bark on a birch seemed to shine out against the grey clouds and every twig glistened with tiny gems of water. In the enchanted park the lichen on the old rocks was lapping up the water, each little fruiting cup was literally over brimming. The moss seemed to be enjoying the rain too.

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Then the rain started up again so I nipped into my favourite coffee house. I bet you never saw that one coming. After about an hour I went back to the agency. They gave me a huge pile of forms to fill out and a very basic maths and English test. Why they didn’t give me the forms to take away I don’t know. I could have filled them out in Costa’s and saved all the waiting around. It was only after I’d spent another hour filling everything out that they mentioned all this was for temporary work. When I said I didn’t want temporary work the answer was, “but at least it will keep you busy while you’re looking for something permanent.” No it will take up all my energy so I don’t have time to look for something permanent.

When I asked if they’d heard back from the job I actually applied for they said they hadn’t. Turns out this is also a temporary job, “although it might become permanent.” This was when they asked for my bank details, ostensibly so they could pay me. Call me suspicious if you like but I wasn’t too keen on that idea, especially as I hadn’t even been offered a job at this point. I said I didn’t have them with me and left, feeling rather nervous about the whole thing. Now I’m not sure whether to go to the interview or not, if it ever materialises. I don’t want a temporary job. The interview is in Whitely, almost eight miles away with no transport links. I don’t trust the agency. It almost feels as if the job was all just a ruse to get me into their office and get all my details. Hmm, we shall see.

So I walked through the precinct feeling rather fed up. My morning felt as if it was wasted. Still the sun had come out, I could see a nest in one of the trees outside WestQuay. Spring is on the way. Well maybe. My original plan had been to walk from town to the big new Sainsbury’s in Portswood but time was getting on and I was tempted to just get on another bus and go home.

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In the end I talked myself out of that. After all, the sun was out and I needed a walk, plus I’ve run out of Green and Blacks cocoa powder. Up through the top of town parks I wandered. The evidence of the storms was everywhere. The grass was littered with debris, from twigs to quite large branches. One large tree was down, the root ball ripped from the sodden ground. Further on a shattered stump and some red tape showed where another tree had fallen. I began to listen nervously for creaking as I passed each tree and when I reached the road I felt quite relieved. The trees may look solid enough but with so much standing water who knows when they will fall?

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There were dark clouds on the horizon and, just before I made it to the supermarket, the rain started up again. When I came back out with my precious Green and Blacks cocoa it was pouring down. Still I was on the way home and maybe it would only be a shower. It’s only a touch over one and a half miles, how wet could I get?

In short, very. By the time I reached Cobden bridge it was raining so hard I could hardly see where I was going. Looking over at the little boats the water was all churned up by pounding rain although there was blue sky in the distance. My mood wasn’t improved by some especially inconsiderate parking, a car and a lorry parked side by side on the pavement. I had to squeeze between the car and a shop front. Good job I’m not in a wheelchair or pushing a pushchair really because it also happens to be on a blind bend on a busy road. If this was your car or your lorry take note!

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Around the corner it started to hail. That was all I needed! The hail came down and when it stopped the rain got heavier…and heavier. The streets turned into a river and I waded through. By the time I got to the Main Road water was dripping down inside my padded, showerproof coat. The bottom of the hill was completely flooded and cars and lorries driving through added to my soaking. Currently my coat is hanging in the shower dripping, along with all my clothes. Round about now I’m thinking of buying a boat and I’m still not sure about that interview.

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Marie

Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

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