My husband had the day off work recently to look after the little one while I went to an appointment. I thought we’d make the most of it and go for a nice family breakfast out beforehand. I’m thinking pancakes, or poached eggs…maybe even a full English. How naive!
We don’t have the best start to the day. T wakes up whinging and I’m not in the best of moods either. J’s theory is that everyone was just concentrating on not falling out of bed after taking off T’s bed guard yesterday (she managed to snap the metal pole) and putting up our bed frame after a couple of weeks of our mattress being on the floor (long story), so perhaps we didn’t get the best night’s sleep. Maybe. Anyway, a few moans and grumbles later and we are finally out of the door, later than intended but on our way.
We have realised over the course of the morning that pre-breakfast we need to collect our car, which failed its MOT yesterday. They have limited parking space and need it out of the way. So we drop over and leave it around the corner where we can collect it later. We are getting quite pushed for time now.
We arrive in town and while J is parking the car, T and I head to the cafe, thinking we can get a table and order. The waiter tells me they are just about to have a fire drill.
J arrives, and I pass on the news. We look elsewhere. We decide to go to Patisserie Valerie – we can just about fit in a coffee and a croissant before my appointment. The fire alarm goes off. Apparently the whole complex is having a fire drill. We wait it out; no point going elsewhere now. It is the longest fire drill in history. Also, I hope if there’s a real fire they won’t have customers milling around on the doorstep. After about five minutes the alarm stops. And then starts again. And stops. And starts. They can’t seem to figure out how to sort it. It finally stops and they allow everyone back in.
We order our coffee and croissants, trying to feign having a relaxing morning, knowing that really we have minutes to spare. I forgot my watch which doesn’t help. Halfway through and the alarm goes off again. I couldn’t help but laugh. Downing coffee and gobbling pastries to the dulcet tones of the fire alarm was not what I’d had in mind for this morning.
We get back to the car, and glancing at the clock I realise I am supposed to be at my appointment in two minutes. Well, that’s not going to happen. While J drives, I try calling but ten minutes of the phone doesn’t get an answer. Once J drops me off, I realise I’m supposed to be right at the other end of the hospital grounds, and, trying to work my way around, get completely lost. Thankfully a kindly porter escorts me nearly all the way there.
I arrive for my appointment twenty-five minutes late. The man at the desk doesn’t seem to think this is a problem and tells me to sit down. I hear people muttering that they have been there for an hour. Maybe I could have had those pancakes after all.