Today has been a bit of a bonkers day. This time two years ago, I had a brand new baby in my arms – Fraser. Yes, it’s his birthday today. He turned 2. This isn’t the bonkers bit, as we knew it was coming.
No, there were a few other things that made today a bit bonkers.
Everything started out well enough. We woke up. We gave Fraser lots of kisses and sang a bit. Presents were opened. Brotherly fights over presents broke out. Then we left the house to go and meet my brother for a coffee at a lovely place called The Sound Lounge in Merton Abbey Mills.
We had some amazing brownies and coffee (the kids didn’t partake in the latter), bumped into a friend and then went for a wander.
I had parked my car in the local Sainsbury’s car park, but there weren’t enough parent and child spaces, so I had to park the car in a regular spot out in the periphery of the car park. I was parked next to a bush on my side and close to a parked car on the nearside.
I wanted Leon (my brother) to come and wait with the kids while I moved the car out of that spot, so that I could find somewhere wider to get the kids in and (ironically) not damage any cars parked adjacent to mine.
Leon stood waiting with the kids, and cutting a very long story short, I reversed my car into another car that had also started a manoeuvre out of a parking spot. Hands up. It was my fault. No major damage to either car – all pretty superficial, (aside from the huge dent in my ego).
I was doing a stupid manoeuvre and was too busy looking in one direction to make sure I wasn’t reversing into oncoming traffic, but failed to check where the far-side of my car was. I’m an idiot.
The lady in the other car was fairly shocked as she had never been in an accident before (how guilty do I feel?!), but she was largely ok, and really civil to me, considering I just dinged her car for no good reason.
We exchanged details and I drove straight over to the garage owned by my ‘really good friend’ James (his words) to (naively) get some sympathy and advice. Instead, I got (understandably) ribbed about my idiotic mishap, although James basically repaired my car in about 3.5 minutes. The bit that I dinged now looks better than the rest of the car. Thanks James.
I then headed over to my parents’ house with a couple of over-tired children to continue birthday celebrations. Although, I was actually feeling a bit shaken and just keen to get to my destination as quickly as possible so that I could make some calls and vent what had happened to my parents.
After venting, a cup of tea and some time to chill out, we had a nice afternoon of more kisses and cuddles, some cake, some food and some more present-opening. And balloons.
At some point during the afternoon, I received an email from Padstow Town Council to tell me that they very generously have decided to cancel the excess charge notice we incurred on holiday a couple of weeks ago.
Blooming brilliant – surely proof that there are actual human beings working at Padstow Town Council. There was no proof that we hadn’t taken our van down to that car park (we hadn’t) and they had absolutely no reason to be so kind-hearted and waive the parking charge. Good on them.
So it has been a day of highs and lows, and now that I write it down, all fairly minor in the great scheme of life. Pranging your car is never pleasant, no matter how minor, and I acknowledge that far worse things happen to people all of the time.
It has been 13 years since I had a car accident, and that time was helped by the lady I crashed into being so lovely and not making me feel awful about it. She was a very kind human and recognised the human error I made. I would say the same about the lady I crashed into today. She was really lovely, despite being totally shocked at what happened. She didn’t make me feel terrible, and really, she had every right to. I appreciated her being human and recognising my human error. Likewise I was so lifted by Padstow Town Council’s very human decision to not enforce our excess fine. Great work by them – I’m genuinely impressed. Finally, there are the guys from the garage who cheered me up and made my car look like nothing had ever happened to it in the space of a few minutes, without even thinking about it. They have been human enough to help out my in-laws so many times in the past with their cars, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
So people, I just wanted to tell you about the odd day I’ve had, and about how being human can sometimes make us cock up. I cocked up today. But despite this, lovely human beings can turn things around and make the world of difference to a seemingly rubbish situation.
Have you met any lovely human beings lately?