Have I had the most awful morning! The weather didn't help; fine, insistent smirr. You'll know exactly what I mean, basically wet air, supposedly extremely good for one's complexion but, as moisture drips off the nose and denims plaster themselves to the legs, not very good for the blood pressure!
However, it wasn't the weather which slowed us down or which caused us to be, almost, but not quite, squashed by the traffic. No, problems this morning were caused by fools and eejits. This tirade will probably irritate most able-bodied so read carefully. Try to imagine what it must be like to be stuck on a pavement surrounded by strange blobs and noises. And it's raining!
There we were, walking down the street. Just like Manfred Mann, when simultaneously Mr. Dog stopped and I felt the roll of a cable underfoot. Staring around and listening above the swish of traffic, I realised the pavement ahead was being demolished. Noisily. Remember that particular point! Eventually, a large person loomed up and insisted Mr. Dog and I walk in the road. He seemed surprised at my unwillingness to do this, embarking on some explanation, carefully choosing the moment when a large truck trundled past. It must have been large, because I saw it. Then my arm was grabbed and I was wheeched off the pavement, through a barricaded pathway, Mr. Dog scampering along behind, to be deposited back on a pavement and abandoned.
On to the crossing, no tactile slabs, no beepers and most drivers ignore the thing anyway. As Mr. Dog and I checked the road, a voice behind us announced, “On ye go, hen.” We stayed on the kerb. You see, it was an elderly voice. So I did a double check, as, in fact, did the voice, because he repeated his imformation. Warned you that this would be politically incorrect. But I've had several frights when old buffers have attempted to wheech me across a road, in the teeth of oncoming traffic. Never assume that old buffers' eyesight gives them a better judge of distance than your own lugs.
And so towards the shops when again, Mr. Dog slowed at more sounds of destruction; there was even the smell of tar. We stood and waited, John Milton knew what he was writing about. A man seemed to be addressing Mr. Dog in some unknown tongue, interspersed with much clucking and chirping. Then two doggy acquaintances appeared. One managed to intercept Mr. Dog and Foreign Person, who seemed so intrigued as to his purpose. The other explained that a way was being cleared and so we followed. Only for her to vanish into the pet shop Naturally, Mr. Dog attempted likewise, becoming most sulky when I pressed on.
Things improved for a while. In the butcher's, someone kindly retrieved my change when I dropped it. A wifie explained that she couldn't touch a dog, not even one as lovely as mine because of an allergy; all said in a kindly way, none of that hysterical screaming I so often seem to get from weans who are apparently being brain-washed by those who should know better. A smooth transaction in the bank, with a cashier, who, although not one of the regulars knew exactly how to help; speaking clearly just when I came level with her window. It's very embarrassing to realise you have been explaining the intimate details of one's ISA to a display offering better deals on car loans.
However, there was much misunderstanding and hanging around in the rain still to come! The chirping foreigners had to be negotiated, and now, I had the proof that they definitely weren't Gallovidian, when one of them escorted me through whatever they were doing holding my arm in a courteous, comfortable way. Not the usual Scottish grab, as used in Drops of Brandy. Told you I'd be politically incorrect!
Then there was the Mysterious Obstacle. This being Thursday and, therefore, Bin Day for the main street, when Mr. Dog stopped and I discerned something bulky in the near distance, in my case, that's about a yard, I assumed a wheelie bin. Since this was a, relatively, wide section of pavement, I knew we should be able to negotiate it. So, as one does with one's dog, I lifted my right arm, palm upwards, and said, “Forward” to the lad. Plap! My hand had made contact with something very large and very squashy. A big, big wumman as they say was bending down, the better to peer at the adverts in an estate agent's window. Window shoppers, you have been warned!
And so homewards? Not quite. Now thoroughly soaked and Mr. Dog thoroughly frazzled, we had an encounter with a Well Meaning Incompetent. Two of them. Here I must really sound objectionable. Yes, overall, I am very grateful when folk come to my assistance, especially when they have gone out of their way to do so. However, I have no time for such questions as, “Dis yer dug bite?” He’s a GUIDE DOG, for heaven's sake! Nor do I like being grabbed by strangers, well, I'd make an exception for Michael Kitchin or him out of “The Archers”, you know, him with the voice. But I digress. Just you think about it, suddenly having an arm almost pulled from its socket. It's tholable if the grabber knows where you might be going but if they then hover and dither, while cars pass on either side or Mr. Dog is alarmed by the proximity of a pneumatic going its dinger, then, no thanks!
Whew! I've probably offended most minorities and next time Mr. Dog and I are out, we'll probably find ourselves marooned, surrounded by generators, my feet welded to fresh tarmac or arrested for smacking someone's bum.