It’s fair to say that the heavy snowfall really changed my routine this week; normally, I get up at 8am, wash behind my ears (and my bits), throw on my bike gear and leave for work at approximately 8:30am; I thoroughly enjoy my 15 minute commute into Croydon. Oh bike, how I miss thee.
In a record-breaking event; my local town of Wallington received around two feet of snow in between Sunday and Wednesday just gone; sub zero temperatures across the South East pretty much killed public transport, and the roads seized up with traffic due to a lack of gritting.
I HATE waiting around for people or being at the mercy of others; so I decided to walk to and from work until transport had started running again; as it turned out, the drastic change in routine was something I greatly enjoyed!
Each day I got up at 5am, set off around 6am and trudged off to work in my Parka coat (mobile sleeping bag) whilst wearing several layers of clothes underneath; my ‘Action Man’ ensemble was completed by my trusty biker backpack which contained a full change of clothes; just in case.
Yes, I know I have a serious OCD problem for being excessively prepared but hey, a man’s gotta have a hobby right?
By Wednesday, the roads were sufficiently gritted which meant that I was able to catch a bus; although I still woke up (through the anxiety of being snowed in) and left at the same times as when I had been when walking. I felt a great relief when I got in from work on Friday evening; it was a fun week, but I was fucking knackered.
I promised myself that I’d be extremely lazy at the weekend, I planned on having a lie in to rest my aching bones, and watch a few episodes of Haven or something. That went totally out the window at 6am when I woke up as per my weekly routine and couldn’t go back to sleep. Bugger!
I used my time productively (what’s new……) by clearing all the icicles hanging precariously around the rooftops and cleared the surrounding pathways. Then I took Chico for walkies; during the walk I noticed that my Grandfathers pathway had iced up, so I returned shortly after to clear it (although it didn’t stop him going to the pub on his mobility scooter!!!). Silly old bastard……..
Having sorted that out; I proceeded to walk home, and on my way back I found an elderly Indian couple in distress. ‘DRAMATIC FANFARE’.
Mr and Mrs Patel (Names changed for dramatic purposes) are both in their 70’s and they had gotten their car stuck in a drain basin next to a set of lock up garages; no matter how he tried, Mr Patel could not get the purchase required to give the car momentum enough to escape the ice.
The sight of the poor old man arguing in Hindu with his wife was comical in itself; more so because she was trying to push their Volkswagen Polo whilst he put his foot on the pedal. She is only 5 foot nothing. ‘Supergran’ anyone? Maybe even ‘Supernaan’!
I had to put aside my dark sense of humour (no pun intended) and help them out.
A coordinated push by yours truly helped Mr Patel break free so that the car could be left in it’s intended parking spot (the chap is disabled); I then cleared all the surrounding ice and snow with my trusty shovel because Mrs Patel told me that she had no sons of her own. I felt good about doing this because I’m generally quite allergic to vigorous manual work.
The Patel’s were ecstatic that I had helped them; apparently their neighbours had cleared each others paths but had left out the local ‘Stani’s. It was like being back in the 1980’s all over again. Wankers.
Suddenly, Mr Patel recognized me; and he eventually exclaimed “SON OF KRISHNAN!” to his wife. This made me jump! It also made me absolutely beam.
Mr and Mrs Patel began to ramble on to each other in a mixture of English and Hindi. They recalled how my father had helped them so much through our local housing association and it turned out that Dad was responsible for securing him the disabled parking space. I knew them from passing (out and about with Dad back a few years ago), but never knew that they held him in such regard.
It was a very humbling moment to say the least; furthermore, I have been told in no uncertain terms that I must go there soon for curry.
The moral of this story = It’s good to help out decent folk; y’all come back now, y’hear!