And I love my city very much indeed.
However, sometimes it all goes a bit tits up. Yesterday was one of those days.
First of all - women, cross your legs. My apologies for this bit.
Today I had my 3-yearly cervical smear test. Like every woman in the country of screening age, I received the notification letter with a glum sigh. Yes, I know we have to do it, it's the smart course of action but still...
I procrastinated just long enough to side-step the Easter school holidays and scheduled it for first thing on a Monday. "get it over with first thing."
The speculum isn't exactly comfortable and I actively dread the click...click...click noises they open it.
Unfortunately, the nurse was inexperienced.
(I did warn you to cross your legs)
She's a total poppet. She's warm, friendly, kind, well-meaning and has a terrific manner with patients. She has the sparkly blue eyes of an old Hollywood movie star. She's great at taking blood and doing inoculations. She's just not quite got the hang of cervical smears.
It took 8 goes.
I had to ask her to stop, I couldn't take it anymore.
She fetched an experienced nurse who sorted it - without pain - in 2 minutes.
Talking to one of my Very Excellent Mates afterwards, she'd had the same nurse with a similar result (fewer tries, more bleeding).
I thought that was the worst my week would be. Everything's on the up from that, surely.
After dropping Z's forgotten lunch at school and buying the approved summer uniform polo shirts at the shop down the road, I drove to work on my lovely Vespa.
The roads are generally quiet at that time of day but a combination of road works, building works and changed lane marking mean a couple of sections are more awkward than usual. This resulted in the cars in the lanes either side of me simultaneously deciding to be in my lane, which they did without indicating and seemingly without noticing me on my scooter. Cars in front and behind, and moving in from either side - adrenaline spike! Luckily the car behind blasted its horn and they both swerved back into their lanes. People tell me scooters are dangerous. My experience is that no, it's dozy car drivers that are dangerous.
After that burst of
We have an empty shop that we've filled with Lego, toys, pillows, hula hoops, craft bits and a visiting coffee shop. We've pompom makers, chalks, markers and paper, stuff for den building, plenty to mess about with. That's the drop-in-and-play bit, totally free.
Downstairs we run workshops and inventors clubs to get kids exploring what they can build and create. It's flipping lovely.
I'm acting as a self-appointed intern at this community-based project. It was clear to me the founder, Emma Bearman, couldn't possibly manage all her plans with the workforce she had funding for, so I nominated myself. I do a few days a week - mostly just being there to welcome people, help kids with activities, do the odd errand, clear up and so on. Having an extra body to (wo)man the play space can be a help. It's very rewarding, if occasionally very noisy!
After a 4.5 hour shift I locked up and headed across town to collect a book from Waterstone's. My arthritis hasn't been great, so I was walking awkwardly and was jostled a couple of times. I put that down to my clumsiness.
When I got to Waterstone's and went to pay, I discovered my wallet was missing. On the unlikely chance I'd left it at work, I went back to Play Lab and searched for it. No wallet. I'd definitely had it when I bought those school shirts. I definitely had it when I tucked it in my cotton shopping bag when I got to Play Lab, and tucked it out of sight in the back of the cubby under the motorbike jacket.
There wasn't a lot in it - frustrating things to replace like loyalty cards, membership cards, drivers licence, credit and debit cards, and a couple of gift vouchers. Things I'll now have to reset on all websites I buy from. Hoops to go through because I bought out Hamilton the musical tickets with that card and I need it to collect the tickets.
Oh, and two really nice commemorative £2 coins in the separate compartment for my coin collection
(I know, I know, coin collecting is lame. Don't judge me. I've had a rough day.)
I'd been pickpocketed on my way through town.
That pretty much broke me.
It was such a crappy thing to happen, with so little advantage to whomever stole the wallet. It had been a really lousy morning followed by a nerve-wracking commute, a lovely but draining shift with my bad knees and now lots of inconvenience and frustration, as well as costing me about £50 to replace things.
I sang fed up songs on my way home (thanks to Lily Allen and Belle and Sebastian for their excellent work in this field), felt thoroughly narked with the world and went to bed early feeling drained.
Monday the 16th can piss right off.
So here I am on Tuesday.
I have an open bouquet of daffodils on my kitchen counter., which is enough to brighten my day. Yes, living in a city means there is crime and it's damned annoying when it happens to you. However, living in the city also means there are amazing things like Play Lab, providing a warm and welcoming space for families. There are large bookshops like my lovely Waterstone's, and fun places to go like my beloved Everyman cinema. There are Kirkgate Market traders who call out and wave when I go by, friends to commiserate with when rotten things happen, and thousands of connections and intersections of communities that make life richer.
I'm shaking off yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow. There are rumours of sunshine.