So, I had a fantastic race and got to see my first concert in five years, that was the good bit, what was the bad bit? Well first, I missed Mr. Lacer, it’s not that much fun racing with no face to look forward to at the finishing line, instead I had to be happy (and it did make me happy, I’m sad) running past the back of Ikea, as we ran through the various back streets, industrial estates and retail parks of Wembley. As I ran through the final kilometre (bless the spectators at the final corner, as we were running they were yelling “The end is just round the corner. You’re nearly there,” which was such music to the ears, as I had no idea where the end was), as I turned that final corner and ran up to the finish line, I literally felt a lump in my throat of happiness and I rang Mr. Lacer twice within five minutes of crossing the line!
But when I really missed him was trying to get home. Now I’m not too timid about wandering round London late at night on my own, I count myself as fairly savvy enough to avoid trouble but that doesn’t necessarily mean I like doing it, specially when I’m not in my own patch and I don’t know Wembley that well. There were still road closures, so I couldn’t get back via the bus stop that I’d arrived on and it took a while to find a bus stop, including one abortive wait at a bus stop where it turned out the bus I was waiting for wasn’t turning up there that night (a notice would have been good). When I finally found a bus stop (remember that thanks to the race and the weather, I was also cold, very wet and tired), I got on the bus, all seemed well, bus stops at a bus stop, all well and good, bus driver gets out of his cab, takes his yellow visibility jacket off, puts his coat on and then puts the visibility jacket back on top, all very well I think, he’s probably cold. But then he gets out of the bus, fag in mouth, without telling us a thing, no automated bus announcements or anything. He wanders around outside for a bit, is he on a fag break or something? Then after a little bit of wandering around he then turns the engine off and disappears! So the passengers are all stuck there (although thankfully he left the back doors open), without a clue what’s going on. Meanwhile another bus (different route but same direction) pulls up behind us and pulls off again and I kick myself that I could have got on it, so I get off the bus (most passengers are still on the bus though) and I wait outside in the cold for another ten minutes for the next bus. Which thankfully took me all the way to my interchange, where my bus to home came quickly afterwards, when I saw that bus, the bus I take pretty much everywhere in day to day life, I could have hugged it!
So I don’t think I’ll be doing the Human Race again unless they change the start time (although it was good running towards the lit arch) as it means it’s difficult for families to come and watch and it’s a nightmare to get home again. The whole wandering around Wembley trying to find a bus and then the bus driver disappearing whilst I was on the bus made me just feel that I was getting too old for wandering round London in the middle of the night, cold and wet. Much as I consider myself a Londoner (lived here for well over ten years now and both sides of my family have roots here), it was one of the first times I questioned whether I could live here for ever. Standing at yet another cold, dark bus stop in an area I didn’t have a clue about, found me fantasising about that small holding Mr. Lacer jokes I want, somewhere within reasonable reach of a city like Cambridge or Oxford (both cities I love), where I can spend my evenings with my family in front of a cosy fire having done nothing more exciting that day than pulling carrots. But I’ve had a busy summer, you wait, give it a month and I’ll be complaining I’m bored!
It was lovely coming home though, specially as Mr. Lacer had been a complete love and completely cleaned the kitchen!