29 October – 1 November 2014
The beautiful weather of Monday was a happy fluke, laid on, it seemed, for the scattering of Commando Senior’s ashes. Not that I’d have had it any other way. Tuesday was dismal and my normal walk was cancelled due to the need to go to the Apple Shop to get my Fuelband replaced. On Monday evening the button suddenly stopped working and a bit of judicial Googling told me this was a common problem. Thankfully the wonderful Apple people replaced it without question. Hopefully it won’t happen again but it does mean I’m not entirely sure of my miles for Tuesday.
Unfortunately customer services at BT are not as helpful. Despite being informed on no less than four occasions that Commando Senior has passed away and no longer needs a broadband package, including sending copies of his death certificate, they keep sending threatening letters. This wouldn’t be quite as galling if this was not for an advance payment for broadband he is never going to use.
They have now called in a debt collection agency. This is after telling us four times the broadband has been cancelled and there is no debt. One hand obviously does not know what the other is doing and, if it wasn’t so distressing for Commando and his sister, their ineptitude might be comical. This is especially true as they keep saying he has not contacted them to arrange payment. I wonder why?
Wednesday wasn’t just dismal, it was wet, wet, wet. The water did bring out the colour of the autumn leaves beautifully. If my glasses hadn’t been so wet I might even have enjoyed them. Silly questions of the day included but were not limited to, “as the clocks went back at the weekend does this mean your buses will be starting an hour earlier?” “I missed my bus, why can’t you make it turn round and come back for me?” and, “I know the road is closed for road works but why can’t the bus go down it?” Sometimes it’s very difficult not to give sarcastic answers.
Thursday was equally dismal, if not quite as wet. The world outside my door was liberally sprinkled with shining water droplets bejewelling the fading nasturtium leaves. A tiny garden snail seemed to be enjoying the damp conditions. The seed heads of clematis vitalba lined the path on my way to the river, demonstrating why they’re called old man’s beard, although it was a rather soggy beard.
As I came round the corner by the Millenium Flats four cygnets flew along the river in the direction of the boardwalk. Seeing one swan in flight is something of a treat, four together is astounding. By the time I got into a position where a photo was possible they’d rounded the bend in the river and were at the end of the boardwalk splashing down into the water. Their flight seemed full of the joy of discovering what their wings were for. Hopefully I’ll see them testing them out again soon.
After such a lovely start the day went downhill quite quickly. It seemed to be a series of traffic accidents, road works and assaults on drivers. One of the latter involved both police and ambulance but the lady waiting for the bus to arrive didn’t think this was a good enough excuse for keeping her waiting. Personally I’d rather have a driver with all his faculties intact and the normally required amount of blood circulating but each to their own I suppose. It was a relief to leave the office even if it was drizzling for the walk home.
It was all change on Friday with a beautiful pink sky and temperatures more akin to summer than the last day of October. Record breaking temperatures as it turned out. There were even some bedraggled roses on my walk to work. The office was full of sweets for Halloween. None of us would have any need of trick or treating for sure.
After another busy day where I didn’t achieve half the things I wanted to it was time for the long dark walk home. As it was Halloween the streets were filled with miniature ghosts and ghouls, all clutching baskets of sweets. The eerie sound of ships fog horns added to the atmosphere along with the odd pumpkin lantern on doorsteps of the houses I passed. Sadly I didn’t see any real ghosts.
The fog horns had been replaced by squealing seagulls by the time I left for work on Saturday morning. Despite the early start I’d been looking forward to leaving the house at six for my walk to work. As the clocks went back last weekend I anticipated a lovely walking watching the dawn break. What I got was rain and seagulls loudly protesting about it.
There were a few discarded pumpkin lanterns as I made my way through the dark streets and, with Halloween over, it seems the Christmas lights have been dusted off. A tree close to Monks Path was festooned with very tasteful lights.
The sky was just beginning to brighten as I passed the college playing fields and a few twinkling lights had appeared in nearby windows. With the rain pouring down though it wasn’t really the beautiful dawn I’d been hoping for. By the time I’d reached Cobden bridge it was lighter still and there was a hint of pink in the East. Even so I was disappointed. Disappointed and wet.
As soon as I’d reached my empty office and taken off my sodden coat I looked out of the window and, sure enough, the rain was easing off and the dawn was breaking in earnest. I cursed my luck but consoled myself with the thought that next week it might be dry. Maybe. By the time I’d made my coffee and switched on my computer the real show had started. The sky was aflame and the pinks and oranges reflected in the still wet paving of the car park.
Later, when I went to stretch my legs the sky was annoyingly blue with a few white fluffy clouds, perfect walking weather. The tree that produced an abundance of pink blossom in the spring is now clinging on to its last leaves. They’re the brightest leaves I’ve seen all autumn. This is a tree that really gives value for money.
Oh well, those are the breaks I suppose. At least, with an empty office, I got a lot more done and ended the week with a little less on my to do list than I’d expected. Wonder what next week will bring?