various thoughts ILTV thunk whilst

locked out for the day

10:30 I,LTV stands, shivering, outside her house, with the milk, for which she popped out, in her hand, but no keys in her pocket and thinks: "what a good thing I have my phone! I can text the (everhelpful) X. . ."
I, LTV: hi! I'm locked out - do you have a spare set of keys?
X: yes!
I,LTV: are you hot-desking in the office, or (*fingers crossed*) comfortable-desking it at The Tower?
X: office!
I,LTV: did you ever get a spare set of keys cut for your place and leave them with the concierge?
X: no!
I,LTV: oh well. . . thanks anyway. . . don't s'pose you fancy coming back in your lunch hour?
X: clients!
I,LTV: well at least you're still employed, or else we'd all be on the streets*
X: school?
I,LTV: I suppose. . .
(X is a man of few words at the best - and the worst, actually, come to think about it - of times) (*Editor's note: an attempt at humour in a possibly dire situation**)
blast - it occurs to I,LTV that unless she goes up to one of the POVS' schools, she'll be out of the house for the duration (and yes, the day she chose to lock herself out is the day that all the POVS have extra-curricular activities, so the duration will be a long one); decides that she can manage a day without the comforts of home, and anyhow doesn't have her Oyster card on her
10:45 realises that she might not have the Oyster card, but in her possession is a loyalty card for the local coffee shop, all stamped up and ready to go. . . "huzzah! I knew saving these cards for a rainy day was a good idea" (it duly begins to rain)
11:15 I,LTV sits in the warmth of local coffee shop, nursing large full-fat triple-shot latte and dries off
11:45 I,LTV wonders how long she can sit in local coffee shop nursing a now empty cup
12:15 (yes, amazing isn't it! one can sit in a coffee shop, reading someone else's left behind newspaper, nursing an empty cup, for ages and ages) it occurs to I,LTV that she hasn't spent all her rainy day pennies this month, thinks: "I could buy some kind of coat and at least I'd be warm". . . she trawls the charity shops of the SW High Street on which local coffee shop is to be found
12:55 (there are lots of charity shops on said high street) I,LTV finds a bargain "vintage" coat, tries it on, it fits like a glove, the shop accepts card payments, she purchases and puts on rather gorgeous coat, warms up immediately - result!
13:20: I,LTV (who has now exhausted trawling the high street) wanders into book shop in the shopping centre. . . looks around, peruses piles of books. . . thinks: "did I ever use up the points on my bookshop loyalty card?", a few moments later acquires two books
13:40: I,LTV sits down in book shop coffee shop with a large full-fat triple-shot latte and newly purchased book (traded the other one back straight away, made enough spare change to purchase second drink and a muffin) (cunning, eh)
15:05 (amazing how long one can sit in book-shop coffee shop, isn't it) I,LTV thinks: "actually, today is Tuesday, isn't it? only Teen Too and Mini-Teen have extra-curricular activities - great I'll be back in the house within the hour"
15:20 I,LTV, replete thanks to caffeine and bun, realises that she hasn't had a ciggie for ages - wonders about nicotine withdrawal symptoms - dismisses thought straight away, should it provoke desire - wanders into favourite clothing outlet for a bit of window shopping. . . sees coat not half as nice but about four times the price of vintage coat she is wearing, feels vaguely smug. . .
15:25 sits on bench, thinks: "I might as well be sitting on the doorstep as this bench"; weird bag lady, talking noisily to herself, approaches bench, sits down next to I,LTV who thinks: "there but for the grace of g*d go I"; weird bag lady comments on I,LTV's coat, a conversation about the price of clothes in charity shops ensues; weird bag lady takes out a packet of ciggies and offers I,LTV one; I,LTV accepts (it would have been rude not to); weird bag lady seems to forget coat conversation and starts to chat enthusiastically about the weather, I,LTV nods in appreciation; weird bag lady finishes her smoke, gets up and walks off, still chatting with enthusiasm. . .
15:50 I,LTV sits on doorstep, thinks: "I wonder when The Teen will be back"
15:55 The Teen arrives home - horrified at the sight of his mother on the doorstep. . . The Teen is not impressed by his mother's predicament -perhaps because it turns out to be the first day in a long long time that he left his keys behind. . . much rudery spills out of his mouth (for my mistake is far worse than his, naturally). . . we settle in for the duration (the others aren't expected back for at least an hour) (Teen Too: Science Club; Mini-Teen: Gym Club). . . it starts to rain. . .
16:00 Mini-Teen and Teen Too, each with a set of keys jangling, approach the doorstep from each end of the road (one takes the bus, one takes the tube) - both clubs cancelled. . . hurray! we're saved! starts raining torrentially as the door is finally opened
16:05 all safely home and drying, hot chocolates all round
16:06 I,LTV remembers bag lady and offers up prayers to whatever powers that may be that she is warm and dry somewhere - or at least still enthusiastic about the weather
(**Editor's note: no, I,LTV hasn't forgotten the good people of Haiti***)(***or bag ladies)


Dave said...

If you lived in Norfolk, I could have rescued you.

It would be a long way for the kids to go to school though.

dinahmow said...

You do make me laugh.(with, not at.Of course)

Mel said...

Oy sheeesshhh.

I'm thinking both of you were glad to hear the jinglin' of keys.
At least you got a new coat and a few new books (and some good coffee) from the deal?

Oy sheeeshhhh.
We've talked spare key.
In a bush, under a rock, inside a flowerpot--somethin'.....

Mel said...

k....I've decided I forgot to say "thank goodness...." and there but for the grace of G-d go a whole lot of us.

(((((((( ILTV ))))))))))

I'm glad all is well and you're warm and dry and safe.

mig said...

Well deserved rewards for loyalty! Quite a productive lockout day for you and congrats on the new coat :)

We have a spare key but we can't decide where to put it. I think that anywhere we could think of a burglar could think of too. Barney thinks anywhere a burglar couldn't think of, he would forget.
Oh well, he'll just have to try harder to remember his keys.

Sorrow said...

I was trying to put myself in your situation, and for the life of me, I can NOT imagine me handling that with any of the grace or panache that you did. I would be grumpy, self flagellating and in a panic.
(I don't do cities well.)
So to you my dear ILTV , I tip my hat, and applaud you. I shall keep your stead y and creativity under pressure in mind, should the need ever arise.
Wow. Almost the whole bloody day...

KAZ said...

You made that story so up beat when it could have been so miserable.
I would love to see a pic of the retro coat.

Vicus Scurra said...

Very nice. Apart from the cigarette, you naughty girl.
And I'm not bothered about a picture of the coat.

zIggI said...

now get a spare key cut and hide it somewhere close :)

Dave said...

Morning. Have you a neighbour who is in most days, with whom you could keep a key?

Christopher said...

Goodness, is it morning already? Well, what a predicament. But would you have had such a worthwhile time if you hadn't locked yourself out? I was going to write a short verse about it until I thought, well, I can get the gist of it over simply by writing Yale/ale and Chubb/pub, which would save such a lot of time, effort and derision.

I, Like The View said...

Christopher so, you're saying I should leave a key in the pub down the road?

Dave I don't. . . I mean I do have neighbours, but they're not in (perhaps I should lodge one of my keys with X's concierge - how that's a thought!)

ZiggZ I must! or perhaps I could train a cat to answer the door. . . n'ah, hiding a key is probably a better idea (very unreliable, cats)

Vicus are you sure about not seeing the coat. . .

KAZ I shall endeavour to find all the bits for the camera and take a photo - it's a lovely coat, beautiful shape, great fabric and excellent buttons

sorrow I actually wished that it had been a summer day, so I could have just sat on a bench in some light - but anyhow, it's made me appreciate the comforts of home (and the fact I have one)

mig I'm so glad that I save the cards up!! the last time I locked myself out was actually the time I locked myself and a toddler into a porch (about 11 years ago) - I'll try really hard to remember my keys for the next 11 years

Mel yup, there but for the grace of g*d. . .

dinah I'm glad!

Dave sometimes I do wish I lived in Norfolk

Spadoman said...

Wait a minute, (goes into the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, living room, bathroom, looking for the key to the front door)
Ahh, there it is. Right where I left it. Hanging on the key hook with all the other keys. Don't tell anyone, we don't lock the house.

Glad you 'weathered' the day. Sounds interesting. I jkight do it on purpose!


katherine. said...

I love Love LOVE this story.

your displacement and discomfort aside of course....