I wrote this bit in my blog book while I was out on the road trying to earn a shilling today so it’s in a different tense to the usual stuff.
There couldn’t be a better time than now to have a good old whinge. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m sitting in the garden of the Ivy Inn in the village of Heddington in Wiltshire. This isn’t something that is typical of my working day but the circumstances that have brought me here when I should be going about my duties do typify the sort of crap that I have to put up with whilst living and working in England.
I’ve just travelled eight miles from my home to visit a customer who, for argument’s sake I will call Emily (and because that is her name) and who lives near here. She’s my only punter needing my services in the vicinity today, I’ve come here at a quarter to two in the afternoon because that’s the time that suits her best and, to be perfectly honest, it’s not all that convenient for me at the best of times but I do it because work is work and I really need those shillings folks. But it was even more inconvenient today because, as I dragged my heavy box of work equipment down her uneven drive, a bloke emerged from her house to tell me that she wasn’t in because she had a hospital appointment and that she would give me a ring later to reschedule her appointment with me. Muttering under my breath that a phone call earlier would have been preferable, I wandered off to the idyllic little village pub to have a cold glass of fizzy water in the beautiful summer sunshine and to bring the summer sunshine smile back to my cross face.
The bloke behind the bar in the Ivy Inn was less than pleased to see as it meant him having to stop gossiping with his mates, get up off his fat arse, unscrew the cap off a bottle of sparkling mineral water and walk at least twenty yards into another room to get some ice which I had had to ask for. Now I know that everything’s a bit of an effort on such a hot day but if he couldn’t be bothered to serve a customer he shouldn’t have bothered to open his pub in the first place. I was tempted to ask him for a slice of lemon in my drink too but I only had forty five minutes to spare before I went back to work so I didn’t bother.
I’m not saying that everyone is like this in England. Most of the people I know are absolutely smashing. But we do seem to have more than our fair share of inconsiderate and lazy people in this country and the absent client and the sloth-like bartender have been prime examples of this today. All that is missing is an arrogant git but I’m sure one will come along before the day is out.
There’s no point getting upset about it. The knowledge that I won’t have to put up with it for much longer keeps me going. In the not too distant future I’m going somewhere better than hospital (though I’m convinced Emily’s not at hospital at all but just didn’t have the bottle to tell me that she’d rather get lagered up in the sun with her mates than have her feet done). I’m going somewhere better than a public bar in a pub. In the words of Harry Nilsson, I’m going where the weather suits my clothes, but not today because I’m wearing the rather ridiculous working attire of a Foot Health Practitioner.
To add a few words in defence of England and Heddington I must remark that the weather here over the last few days has been very, very nice and if it could only stay like this for every single day of the year then I might find living in England just about tolerable. Also, there are good people in Heddington too. Two of my favourite customers live here with their lovely dog and cats and chickens and bottomless coffee pot and travel tales so usually when I think ‘Heddington’ I think ‘Happy Heddington’.
I’m working in Bath tomorrow. I hope they’re all in. I’ll take my book to write in just in case.
How Emily's right foot will look now
if my special Voodoo spell has worked.