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Out in the Sticks

No car today. That's okay, I thought. I'll get bus to work. Bus service not running during week any more. Live out in sticks. 'S'alright, I thought. I'll walk.

Set off at brisk pace. Lots of up-and-downy, winding roads. No pavements. Teeming with boy-racers. (Note to self: will adhere rigidly to 30ph limit in future). Start panting.

Half hour in. Thought I'd be there by now. Only takes ten minutes in car. Can feel blisters hatching. Face takes on unattractive sheen. Cheeks glowing like beacons. Lorry full of builder-types pass shouting 'Oy-oy!' Give me lift, I plead silently. Won't mention bum-cracks and Language.

Have to keep weaving to avoid being flung in ditch.

An hour in, try to phone ahead. No signal. Live in sticks. Try to phone taxi. No signal. Live in sticks. Plod on. Consider hitchhiking in seventies-retro style - tugging skirt up, revealing toned, tanned leg. Reconsider. Legs not tanned or toned. Plus, wearing trousers. Also, Psycho Jim probably choose today for killing spree. Feel blisters burst. Tearful.

Ten minutes later. Will anyone take pity on me? Respectable looking lady. Got my cardi on. Try appealing to drivers with eyes. Sweaty, shiny look probably not respectable. Reach Golf Club. Why aren't I there yet? Sodding miles to go. Got phone signal at last. Give in. Ring taxi. Only got £4 in purse, costs £4.40. Nice lady driver senses pain. Lets me off.

Stumble into library, wild of hair and eye. Only several hours late. Ready for cup of tea and lie-down, but have to do work. Colleagues take mickey. Bloody cheek of it. Nice colleague offers lift home. Normally polite, say no don't worry. This time, fell on her weeping with gratitude. Will not be walking Molly-dog far today.

Will not be walking to work ever again.


Kerry said…
Oh, does it not show due sympathy to tell you that this is such a funny post! Be careful of those respectable cardigan wearing ladies though - I hear they are the worst!
Paul Capewell said…
Nightmare! Given how long it takes me to get to work by either train or bus, I often wonder whether I ought to try walking... But I'd end up KNACKERED and I much prefer just taking my time and reading/listening to music at the same time.
You poor love you. The joys of living in the sticks ;-)Tommox
Lane said…
What a nightmare morning. Your cardi must be exhausted from this on and offing.

Well done for making it into work. A lesser mortal would have lay in the nearest ditch and wept.

Hope you get your car back soon:-)
Debs said…
Oh poor you, I was exhausted just reading your post. Mind you I think my laughter helped tire me out. Well done for getting there in the end, I'm sure I would have given up, if indeed attempted it in the first place.
HelenMH said…
Wise decision never to do it again - well done you x
Ah Karen, we live in a time where by walking you label yourself as someone who is deeply strange and best avoided. In my travelling days I used to feel like a Martian in many American cities when I walked from A to B. Sidewalks to self; tring to ignore incredulous stares from drivers who were frantically locking their doors before drawing level ...
Lucy Diamond said…
Oh no!! Sorry - was it mean of me to laugh while I read this? Hope you have recovered and got your lift home okay. And I hope your colleagues realise what a trooper you are!
kallioppe said…
*Bestows a pair of Party Feet*
Jumbly Girl said…
ouch ouch I can feel those blisters - you poor thing. Still at least you had your cardy on. (Could be a book - Travels with my Cardy...)

I have found hitching singulalry unsuccessful since I stopped being a student - drivers seemt to think that anyone not trying to struggle through higher education who hasn't got their own transport must be a psycho.
KAREN said…
kerry - I can see the funny side now - just about! You can tell a lot about a person by their choice of cardigan I'll have you know...

paul - Don't do it!! Honestly, I thought I'd never get there. Well if you do, at least wear sensible shoes. Which you probably do, anyway :o)

tommo - We'd be totally buggered without a car!

lane - I must admit my cardi's having a little rest today. And I did consider giving up and going home, but I'd already gone so far! Madness. Car's back, thank goodness :o)

debs - I certainly won't be attempting it in future. Get a decent bus service out here, that's what I say!

helenmh - They say you live and learn!

ernest - It's strange actually, how self-conscious I felt. I'm fine trudging through fields with the dog, in my wellies, but smartly dressed, on the road...I could almost see people thinking 'nutter alert.'

lucy - It's not mean at all. I'd have done the same! A bit more colleague gratitude would have been welcome though :o)

kallioppe - Thank you. I can feel them working already :o)

jumbly girl - lol at Travels with my Cardy. I like that.
That's exactly how I felt - like some eccentric old biddy best avoided! Sad really.
Maddie Moon said…
Maybe you could run next time, you know, build it into your exercise routine?

No, it's a rotten idea, really. I'll keep my suggestions to myself next time.
Faye said…
Never thought I'd get to ask this question--not even the knacker wagon would pick you up? How sad!

Most everyone can tell a tale, although not this funny, of overestimating their walking stamina. I've usually had at least one dog with me, cutting out chances of getting a lift to zilch.

Take a five day weekend to recover Karen--you deserve it!
KAREN said…
maddie - Run? RUN? I feel faint...

faye - I'd have felt less noticeable if I'd had Molly with me, oddly. Two days later, my ankles are still aching!
Annieye said…
Poor you, Karen. Hope you recover quickly. What an experience.

About a year ago in the summer I decided to try and lose some weight and get fit.

In the car it's 5 mins from my house to Emily's and then from Emily's to work it's about another five.

Never, bloody well never again! It took me 20 minutes to get from my house to Emily's babysit grandson for an hour and then another half an hour to get to work. I felt as if I'd climbed Everest.
Alis said…
V. funny post Karen - brightened my day. Hope the blisters are recovering.
KAREN said…
annieye - I've actually worked out that however many minutes it takes to drive somewhere, mulitply them by 8 and that's how many minutes it'll take to walk. (You can see how it's affected me).

alis - I can see the funny side now, but my blisters are still there!
SpiralSkies said…
Oh, crikey, that did make me laugh. SO you see, the pain wasn't in vain.

And I'd never trust anyone wearing a cardie on a long expedition.

Walking is so exhausting and drab. Probably why it never really caught on?
KAREN said…
spiralskies - I even tried some novel-plotting while I was weaving, but even that couldn't distract from the horror.
Tam said…
Karen, have stopped smiling now (just) and can offer some advice (although I think you got there without my help):


When I am carless for whatever reason and my husband ticks me off, I choose walking as a way of demonstrating my huffiness. It always backfires on me.
KAREN said…
tam - I even thought I was doing my bit for the environment, but never again!
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