It’s less of an early start today. Instead at around seven I shiver into life.
During the night the heating packed up. The boiler is down and damn it’s cold. In the night I reached for two woollen blankets which we picked up just outside of Cape Town this time last year. With the blankets it’s a little warmer beneath the duvet.
I wrap up in slippers and thermals and a dressing gown before heading downstairs to two shivering pups. We won’t get the boiler fixed, it’ll be pulled out and replaced in six weeks time. For now it’s a case of using the emersion heater for the hot water and growing thicker skin to endure the indoor temperatures.
We make coffees and the builder arrives. Papa Murf is awake and appears. It’s all go. While making a V60 filter coffee for the builder I have the back door open moaning to him “the heating is broken!” he looks at me and reacts “ah shit!” My thoughts exactly buddy.
Andrew leaves for work, I hold him as we say goodbye until tomorrow.
Then I log on to finish drafting a contract while I sip my coffee. A little while later I have a call with a consultant working on one of my projects. While we talk I plug in my headphones and check the scheduled insta posts for Wisp. I add a few tags and connect with our audience. Five minutes later I close the app and finish the call.
There’s a bang at the door. It’s Hermes delivering a H&M parcel, it’s a border anglaise white top and two petite jeans from their conscious collection. Not that my consumption makes it any better.
Then I bail into the car, the builder tells me to have a great day, I tell him that I’ll one day have a great day when I’m retired. Sometimes the language barrier leaves conversations a bit disjunct. This time he says to me “it’s all in the mindset” Which leaves me, philosophically surprised.
I get in the car, set my destination to 80 miles away and start the journey. I continue listening to the audiobook from yesterday. Driving I think about the letters I plan on writing as thanks to people.
The drive is quick and as I arrive in a consultant car park I call my parents to update them on work thus far. They’re excellent support and have created fantastic lives which they share with grace and enthusiasm. I look down at my wrist, while dressing this morning I picked up a beautiful embellished bangle with rubies and diamonds and emeralds which I received as a gift from them. I touch my earrings as I often do through the day, they are the most wonderful Bvlgari clip ons which I swore to wear daily to reduce their cost per wear. They’re almost part of an armour now.
My client arrives and pulls up next to me, I bid farewell to my parents and collect my stuff ready for the meeting. I greet my client and he mentions the fact that my car has suddenly turned white rather than the usual mucky grey.
I catch up with familiar faces, trying my best to remember which holidays they’ve been on or details about our last conversations. I love people, which is why I chose this career path rather than that of a creative. A new engineer has joined the scheme. I want to say that he’s a friend but in recent times I noticed a change, there’s something different in our relationship. We were once, we would all go out drinking in a group together in the second city.
The meeting goes well but the hours disappear. While we’re preparing to leave following a finance review on the project, my dearest friend and mentor pops her head into the door to ask one of her colleagues a question. I smile widely at her with so much love. We don’t say too much to one another, we both protect our reputations, the guys don’t need to know how we have one another backs. That’s the thing with females in the engineering industry. First of all, there aren’t many, and we face an uphill battle each day and to make life harder for an other is the most ridiculous thing - we have to stand in each others corner. We rise up by lifting others. I wish her a “Ciao” as we leave.
On the way home I play the audio book, it’s pouring heavy with rain.
I give up and ask “Hey Siri, play Macklemore” and “Hey Siri, play Boarders by Feeder”.
There’s a lane closure on the motorway and a load of cars in pieces as part of an accident. It’s a crawl and I push my way into the open lanes.
Once the traffic starts moving once again, it’s still slow - so slow. Rain is heavy and on more than one occasion my car flashes warning signs to let me know that’s it’s loosing all traction as I hit surface water. I miss my all wheel drive cars so much in this moment, if I were in the soccer mom car which after adding 20k miles in six months I sold back to the dealer for the same price purchased, I’d have been fine. In this one I’m not fine. So I settle with cruise control at 60mph. We’re going to need to replace Andrews car soon. I think about what it would be with. I think about the fun cars I once had. I think about the roads I’ve enjoyed at 2am when I’ve left the house with just a soundtrack and a bottle of san pelegrino. I think about GLC’s and CLS and Cabrios and dirty Alpinas and how much fun a F Pace 4WD could have on some tracks. It’s too much, it’s consumerist and distasteful. Then I think about the planet and how we have a duty each to reduce emissions through considerate driving.
In the pouring rain I navigate the final lanes back to the house. I park up to find Papa Murf locking up after a great day of achievement. I’m ravenous so we quickly put some jacket potatoes into the microwave. I’ve never made this kind of meal. It’s been a few years since I used a microwave after reading some old Mind Body Green posts about loss of nutrients. He offers me a glass of white Brancott Estate wine. I sip it gratefully, glug. Then we dive into dinner, fumbling with the TV settings to get Sky sport logged in ready for a Man City game. I tell him that I’m wearing red, he laughs, apparently it’s powder blue.
The house is cold, the pups curl into our laps as we watch the game. After a glass and a half of Brancott I move onto a Nene Valley “Bitter and Orange” beer from a few weekends back with wonderful girlfriends.
Andrew calls, he’s playing a game of squash at a hotel with our buddy. I’m envious because their hotel has heating while this house is so cold that the pups are stacked on my lap shivering.