Going to Work
As you all know I do market research surveys to get me out of the house. Depending on the week, I will work 2-3 days, and each of these days I actually work about 6 hours. It gets me out of the house and meeting people. It does wonders for my mental health.
This week I had to visit specific houses for the survey I am doing, which is great as I don’t have to do as much walking as I normally do. Walking has become steadily more difficult, and I have become used to being in the very slow lane when it comes to ambulatory swiftness. So it was with delight that I drove into the driveway of a house in rural Ireland. It was a very steep driveway, but drivable. If I was walking I would have avoided it like the zombie plague, and the ascent would have proven impossible.
The homeowner was not there, so I got back in my car, ready to head off to the next house. With my eagle eye, I noticed a laneway leading down the hill to another road. I check on Google Maps and it looked like I would be fine. I would avoid having to drive up the hill. My brain still had not fully registered that I was driving, and not walking.
And so it starts
So I started down this track, and it gradually became steeper, and narrower. The surface was no longer the embedded stones of an often travelled route. It was steep, and I didn’t think about stopping and reversing back the way I came. I was like Frodo on the way to Mordor. I was not going to turn back. The car slipped and skidded down with me using the foot and handbrake to control the descent. I was nearly down.
When I made the last, very tight turn, I was faced with a gate that was wide enough for a pregnant cow to pass through. My Honda was just too wide. Using all my skill, I turned the car, and tried to drive back up, and only managed 10 metres before the wheel spun, and my car said, ‘No’. Maybe it was having sympathetic MS? I had to abandon the car and hobbled off, stick in hand, to find help.
Thoughts that could have gone through my head were that the car could be irrecoverable. It could be damaged as I slid over the rock, even that I had lost a days work, all because of a simple, stupid, mistake. Add this on top of my chronic headaches, and worsening mobility, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a day to end all days. The straw that breaks the camels back.
Instead, I was focused on the small steps that would fix this mistake. I stopped, assessed the situation, and found the help of someone working at a nearby house. Like falling dominos, the solution fell in front of me.
The person who owned the gate consented to a neighbour of his knocking down the fence, and he refused to let me get someone to repair it. A relation answered my plea for help on the phone to rescue me. I honestly thought the car would be stuck there for a day and I would need all sorts of heavy machinery to recovery it from its precarious perch.
Not a Bad Day
Last night I was grateful for an exciting day, the generous help of a stranger, and the sympathy of a fence owner that took pity on an over-adventurous soul. Some people would have seen this as a stressful, and anxiety filled, afternoon. Me, I was happy to have resolved my crisis, plus I have a story to tell. Not a bad day, after all.