I must be frank. It was already about the most challenging week I’ve had in a long time. The last week in my job (and 1200 teenagers and 120 adults to say goodbye to), my journalist-husband is in Nepal doing a follow-up to the earthquake. Three late nights, a school play, an awards evening, a leaving do, and two children at home. I even joked on Monday that I felt I could JUST about get by, as long as nothing went wrong.
So waking up to this was less than impressive:
You know when you can’t quite place the reality of what you’re seeing? The kids were wrangling hairbrushes as we walked to the car. The tones of Peppa Pig were still coming out of my phone. Ever the naive optimist, I assumed (having been aware my parking hadn’t been great!) that something had gone wrong, and you’d had fixed it for me. Why ELSE would there be bricks under my car? It took a while to realise that, despite the clear evidence of children’s car seats, you’d STOLEN MY BLOODY WHEEL!
So, it’s 7.00 a.m, I have two kids who need to get to the childminder, a meeting, a briefing, thirteen speaking exams, two lessons, and a list a mile long to get through, and NO HUSBAND, and you’ve STOLEN MY WHEEL! AND sheared my bolts! [As it transpired, you did this just over an hour beforehand, in full daylight.]
I could go on for several thousand words with details of my pretty-tedious and frankly headache-inducing day. But in summary, I made it to work, the spare wheel made it on, I made it to the KS2 musical, and I’m sitting at my computer with a glass of wine, some fresh food, and a daughter who is now an aspiring sleuth (Mummy, me and Lucy will FIND the robbers SOMEHOW!).
A crappy day, frankly. I’m at least £200 down, and have no confidence in it not happening again.
I also have fresh food (yes, worth mentioning twice), a new bond with my neighbours, my own forensic team (impeded only by rain), an offer of victim support, and the prospect of a good night’s sleep.
To be honest, despite the hassle, I would like to imagine you needed the wheel more than I did. Certainly more than the one on the posh 4×4 just next to it (!). And actually, the chance to laugh about it was a bit of a relief, and my students saw me in a different light. And actually, my car needed a full service anyway, so you’ve facilitated a positive relationship with the local garage. Also, I’ve come to appreciate family and friends more than I might have done before.
I gather I should also be mildly grateful that you left the bricks to prop the car up. Hmm. Thanks. And you didn’t take anything else. You even left a bottle of wine on the car seat.
Lucky, though, that it wasn’t the car of another parent from school whose son is undergoing his second bone-marrow transport, who travels to Great Ormond St every day. Lucky it wasn’t the car of my friend who had to drive to hospital after her son decided to ‘post’ his money-box coins down his throat. Or, indeed, the car of my Dad who took my Mum to hospital after she broke her arm. Or that of the carer I know whom someone is relying on for their first meal of the day. Or the Dad who gets to see his kids once a fortnight. Or the friend hoping to see her Dad once more before he died.
To the two men who stole my wheel: I suppose all three of us can consider ourselves quite lucky.
Look after my wheel, won’t you?