Yesterday was a funny old day. Despite several urgent administrative matters which reared their heads in the morning, I managed to complete my entire list of things to do, except the shelves. These were not done because I ran out of red rawl plugs and I was buggered if I was going to drive five miles just to get some more – the TP round the corner only sells them in batches of 20,000.
After I had done my jobs in the hall, I got the vacuum out to clean the carpets. Because we are still hauling boxes and moving furniture, I have left a piece of off-cut carpet in the hall so the real carpet doesn’t get dirty. I vacuumed the top and then lifted it up to vacuum underneath.
To my horror, the underside was absolutely crawling with maggots. After the shock had worn off, I tried to work out where they’d come from. The carpet off-cut was relatively new and I had vacuumed under it recently, so it couldn’t be the carpet. I checked for any rogue food which the boys might have dropped but there was nothing.
Then it dawned on me. Last week we had very heavy rain and something organic and dead had been washed out of the gutter and, as I went out of the front door that night, the whole of the front step was covered with maggots. I had poured boiling water on them and swept them up the next morning, but clearly, some of them had got inside and snuggled up under my carpet. Yuk. I would even go so far as to say ‘Eeooow’ in that slightly affected way of the Californian teenage girl.
I cleared up and carried on with my tasks. Hooks were hung, steps were scrubbed, windows cleaned, ‘phone calls made, Boy the Younger was collected from school. I then went out to pick up Boy the Elder from the bus stop. It’s only a ten minute drive and the first part is along a narrow road where one has to drive slowly because of parked cars. 20-25mph is about as fast as you can go.
As I came round a wide bend, I saw a group of little girls standing at the side of the road. I slowed down a bit more, just in case, but they saw me and stepped back from the kerb. Then, just before I drew level with the girls, two of them suddenly made a dash for it and ran straight out in front of my car.
I slammed on the brakes and literally, and I mean literally, stopped short of the girl at the back by about four inches. I stopped the car and got out, shaking. Both sets of girls were stock still at the side of the road, obviously terrified that I was going to give them a bollocking.
I didn’t shout. I checked that they were ok and then gave them a very serious but gentle lecture about crossing the road and how important it is to look both ways, twice, before crossing the road, looking and listening all the time. The girls who didn’t cross were very upset and full of apologies. The girl who I nearly hit just kept saying “I didn’t see you, I didn’t see you”. Absolutely horrible.
I had a dear friend once who accidentally killed someone in a car and he never got over it. He was driving down a main road and he saw a car coming out of a gateway and he slowed down just in case it pulled out. The other driver saw him and pulled back. But then, inexplicably, just as my friend was about to drive past, the car pulled out at speed and my friend ploughed into the driver’s side killing him instantly. Fortunately the little girl who was in the passenger seat was unharmed. My friend developed a crippling stammer which never left him.
Drive safely all of you. And clean out your guttering.