Bouncing happily down the stairs


Bouncing happily down the stairs in a gallery on Saturday, my phone fell out of my hand and similarly bounced, catching every other step before falling down the sizable gap at the side, and disappearing out of sight.

I wailed and flung myself down hoping it would be at arms length, cursing my bad luck, imagining the answer if I requested that the stone steps be lifted up to retrieve my phone, and then mentally going through how deeply time-consuming finding a new phone would be, when the answer was no. 

After scaring another woman who saw my prone body on the stairs as an issue for genuine concern, Alan one of the gallery attendants had the brilliant idea to check in the corner of the cupboard under the stairs.

The wonderful architect, who designed the staircase, had had the commendable foresight not to plaster all the way down the wall in the cupboard. Instead, he had left a tidy gap at the bottom, which led to me finding my phone, not only on but working with not so much as the sim out of place, nestling in the corner.

At lunch time today I left the school that I was in, to buy some lunch.  It was raining pretty hard and I didn’t know the area that well, but I had walked from the station and I was pretty confident I could find the main road to buy something, walk back with a cigarette and then eat my lunch at leisure.

12.20 I set off on Mora Road.  A charming road but one which has the misfortune to take the longest angle onto the main road, so I turned left onto Briar Road in hope of a shortcut.

I continued up Agave Road.  This wasn’t the way that I had walked in the morning but it sounded familiar and I was pretty much relying on knowing which direction the main road was and having a sense of direction.  I had neither.

12.28 From there I carried on up Syned Road onto Anson Road.  This is a lovely wide street which tailed of as far as the eye could see on either side with no indication of a main road and was flanked by a remarkable number of cul-de-sacs.  I looked left and right and took the left, which was precisely the wrong direction.

It was some many wet minutes later that I decided to get acquainted with the locals by asking them for directions, who were kind but unhelpful.

12.39 I texted Steve to say that I was lost and asked him to give me a ring as I had left my A-Z at the school.  I’m relatively calm.

12.44 A little later I walked onto St Paul’s Avenue and walked into Willesden Green train station.  The guard stepped out of his box and gave me a local map, which was much appreciated, but unfortunately didn’t mention Mora Road. 

I rang Steven but it went straight to voice mail.

12.50 I went up around Walm Road and into Chichele Road and then round onto Cricklewood Road.  I had gone this way this morning but I had had to resort to copious checking of the A-Z as I was trying to find a short cut around the number of cul-de-sacs.  So far I’m 0 for 2 on this.

I left Steven a message.  I proceed to phone him a number of times catching his voice mail each time.

12.56 I start to run quite a bit.  This leads me quicker to a place that isn’t the school and could be nearer or farther but I don’t know as I have no idea where I am.  I ask a postman on Anson Road if he knows where the primary school is and he doesn’t know.  

Neither does he have an A-Z.

12.57 I’m starting to think that I’ll turn around the corner and find the Thames.

13.12 I went down Oaklands Road and then Heber road confusing it with Briar or Agave Road and ended up back on Anson road but then I found Syned road which definitely sounded familiar and then along onto Olive Road.

13.18 I’m phoning Steven at six second intervals.

13.20 I ask two guys sitting in a white van and they say Mora Primary School is around the corner.  They are right. The bell was going as I walked in with the students.  I feel some relief, the students seem happy, my lungs don’t feel so good.

Into each life some rain must fall.