Sunday, 11 January 2009

Stars, stickers, silliness and cemeteries

In an attempt to try and remain positive, I'm sticking little stars on my wall planner every time I get most of my To Do lists done, do a good deed or get a full days work done without too much hassle.

It's day 11 and I have 6 stars. This includes two calls to the police as a concerned member of the public, a day when I finished work dead on 4pm (for a doctor's appointment), the day when I made the 'phone calls and sorted out the money mess and the day I was thanked for knocking on a car window.

Yeah, I know how that sounds.....

It was very late when I was walking to the bus stop on Wednesday. I left at 9:30pm. The road is extremely busy for traffic and very quiet for pedestrians. On my way, I pass the gates of a cemetery. That night, there was a car parked up just outside the gates. There's a tiny turn off between the road and the main gates of the cemetery of no more than 15 feet. There is no parking and no reason to be parked there.

I passed by, thinking (uneasily) that maybe someone had broken down and had just managed to push the car out of the way of the thundering traffic.

On my way in to work the following morning, the car was not only still there, but there was what looked like a heap of clothes in the drivers seat. I walked past. I stopped. I had second thoughts.

I could just imagine the headlines later that day.

'Grieving Pensioner Freezes to Death in Lonely Vigil
A grieving pensioner was found dead in his car by council workers
who came to open the cemetery in which his wife of forty years
had been buried the previous day.
Police are calling for witnesses who may have seen the car.........'
You know the sort of thing the local papers print.
I felt too guilty to carry on, called the non emergency police line and described the circumstances.
The operator asked for details - I gave her the car position, make, model, registration and by the time I'd done that, I was close enough to see a big pile of clothes in the driver's seat.
I told the operator that it looked like someone was in the car and it had been there all night.
She asked me to see if they were all right.
Keeping the operator on the line in case I disturbed a machete wielding psychopath
'Woman hacked to death with machete
Police are hunting the killer of a local woman who was
hacked to death on her way to work this morning.
Her name is being witheld until next of kin have been notified........'
You know the sort of thing the local papers print.
I knocked on the window, maintaining a running commentary for the benefit of the police operator.
The pile of clothes and blankets moved. A huge pair of black brown eyes blinked out and a young Asian woman cracked the window.
I asked if she was all right - it was cold out and the car had been parked overnight.
She told me that yes, she was all right, her mother had been buried in the graveyard the previous day and she didn't want her to be alone for her first night.
She added, somewhat unnecessarily, that she had taken her mother's death very badly.
I told her I was sorry to hear of her mother's death (she did seem very young) and I apologised for disturbing her.
I then explained to the operator as I walked away what had happened.
We both agreed that it was a very strange and morbid thing to do and at least the lady was all right - or at least, not frozen to death.
Yesterday I was wandering around through the Mander Centre when a very pretty young Asian woman broke away from her family group and thanked me.
I must have looked very confused.
She explained that she was the lady in the car and she was very grateful that someone had knocked on the car window. Calling me her good Samaritan, she told me that I had restored her faith in people.
Blimey. That was a bit strong.
I told her that I seen the car the previous evening and became so worried about it being there the following morning that I felt guilty about passing it again I couldn't pass it by. I could imagine some poor pensioner or something horrible - I had to see if they were all right .......blabber......blabber........blabber
She nodded, thanked me again and quickly returned to her family. A tad too quickly - suggesting I'd fluffed it and scared or embarrassed her.
But I still felt a little warm glow that at least I done something right on Wednesday. So two stars - one for Wednesday and one for yesterday.