Saturday, 3 September 2016

So there I am being a good little cat

and pedalling slowly and carefully down the footpath next to a very busy road. Please note I just wrote "slowly and carefully". 
Now I am allowed to ride my tricycle on the footpaths. Even before it was legal the police wanted me on the footpath - like the under 12's. I am not a speedster.
I don't like that particular road. It is very busy and the footpaths are a nightmare. They are rough. There are obstacles in the form of trees. There are numerous driveways which need to be watched. Some of these are behind high hedges so that I need to slow almost to a stop and make sure nobody is backing out. All that I can handle but the footpath also slopes.
For a cat with a very poor sense of balance this is not good. I don't feel comfortable. I keep thinking I am going to topple over although part of me knows I won't. 
But, I need to use that road because it leads to another one that can only be accessed that way. So, I pedal on.
And then I come to another obstacle. Someone has dumped a large pile of garden soil in the middle of the footpath. There is no way to get around this - except to get off the trike and bump down the curb, walk into the oncoming traffic, and then bump up the curb again.
And on the other side there is a young man in a wheelchair. We looked at one another. We shrugged and shook our heads in disbelief.
      "Can you manage that?" I called to him. He shook his head. He was stuck. He had just come around the corner and hadn't been able to see the pile until it was too late. The slope of the footpath meant he couldn't even turn around safely. Had he tried he would have been in danger of rolling backwards into the road.
A small break in the traffic let me reach him.
"If you can help me turn around...I'll just have to go back," he told me. 
As we were doing that someone came out of the driveway. He looked at us - and laughed. 
It takes a lot for me to lose my temper - a lot. I lost it. So did the boy in the wheelchair. Neither of us swore but we both told the laughing idiot what we thought of him. The boy took out his mobile phone. He took a photograph. 
I don't know where he was going to send it. He didn't have to send it anywhere because a local council van stopped. The driver had the situation assessed in a moment. He took more photographs and we left the man who had laughed arguing about the fine he was about to receive. 
And then, as we were both about to turn into the street I wanted to access and where the boy apparently lives someone walking  towards us stopped and said,
        "Hi T can't you get around that pile....where were you going? Can I get something for you?"
And T....handed over a prescription for the chemist on the corner and said to me,
      "Aren't people nice?"
Yes, most people are very nice - but please think twice before you block the footpath. 

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