Sometimes the day of awkward just slaps you in the face with a soggy slipper.
The day started with a visit to the dentist. You just know this tale bodes well, huh? To be honest I was still reeling from my cat’s recent dentistry bills… for the price I paid she could have been the only naughty tortie with a gangster-style gold grill. From now on I shall look at prices in a whole new light… hm, a £100 dress ‘or one cat tooth’. But I digress…
For some reason known only to womankind, I had decided to wear a pair of boots with a heel ‘even though I knew the day would involve a fair amount of walking’. I had also completely forgotten I had agreed to house/cat-sit for a friend for a few days, and would therefore need to lug around a small suitcase all day. So there I was - heels, suitcase, handbag, phone I still don’t understand, and imminent dentist visit.
Although I live nearer Hertfordshire than London, my dentist is in leafy posh north London suburb, Highgate. This is because I desperately want to live in Highgate, and I figure if I get enough reasons to be there then Highgate will sort of painlessly absorb me like a comfy sponge. It is madness as the only thing I can afford in Highgate is a coffee and even then it would be with a stoic smile at the bill. But anyway…
It was only somewhere underneath Kentish Town on the Northern line did I remember that the dentist was not actually by the tube station, but was a twenty-minute trod up a hill. So, panicking slightly, I emerged at Highgate tube and started walking, fishing my mobile (iPhone!) out of my bag so I could call ahead.
Now, I know there are fancy things out there to protect iPhones, but at the moment mine lives in a sock. Somehow I always bring swanky new technology down to my level. So there it is, a sock. A clean sock… but still. I then realised I couldn’t walk and dial (tap) at the same time, and as I am not used to tapping numbers yet on a touch screen, I kept tapping the wrong things, as well as being out of breath. Eventually I got through and gasped something that probably sounded like I was trying out for an asthmatic Cadbury’s bunny.
I arrived at the dentist, sock/phone in hand, and luckily they could still see me for my appointment. They must have taken pity on the sock; either that or I looked wild-eyed and desperate. Five minutes later I was on the chair, trying not to steam up his mirror, feeling all sweaty and red-faced. Apparently I have a Bad Tooth, and a Bad Filling, and both need to have Bad Things done for a Price. I nodded dumbly, and then was released back into the wild to stomp back to the tube.
I then realised the only chance I would get to buy lunch would be to pop up at King’s Cross. Boy was that a big mistake. More walking, more stomping. Did I mention the suitcase? I got my lunch (take-out from Yo Sushi as a treat) but was starting to wilt, limp and look generally unkempt around the edges. This was the look I took in with me to work. I rocked that look. I owned it.
Later I was homeward bound, and was told (not personally, although I like the thought) that the Met line was suspended, and was in fact turfing everyone out at Wembley Park. Okay, I thought. I’ll just get the Jubilee line… and realised that the closest I could get to going north again would be changing at Green Park station for the Victoria line. For those that don’t know, Green Park is a whole lot more south than I wanted. Still it had to be done, and so, after a meandering Jubilee line crept into Green Park, I found myself on the world’s busiest platform. A tube stopped, and I was whooshed up and onto the tube into a space roughly the size of a pea. Everyone already looked grim but then we were told someone had taken ill on a tube at Seven Sisters, eight stops away, and they had managed to suspend the whole line.
I’d like to say that everyone on the entire suspended network only wished good vibes towards that poor ill person, but I rather suspect… well, you can probably imagine. Faces like thunder, we all disembarked and did what I was trying to avoid, the seemingly mile-long stomp through the tunnels to the Piccadilly line.
Never mind, I thought, as I stared at the racing black through the window. Nearly home! And after everything that has happened today, what could possibly go wrong?