My Saturday began in such a lovely way. I slept buried under a starchy, bleachy duvet and pillows (just how I like it). I woke up late. I did some work. Then I went out to do a long run in the early, drizzly afternoon.
As I set out, through Green Park, and toward Hyde Park, I was marvelling at just how pleasant the whole thing was — run run run — I looped the perimeter of Hyde Park a few times and was having a wonderful time watching the triathlon:
And then…I went back to shower and to start on a bit more work. This was to be a working weekend, and also a weekend to finally get to know my part-time city a bit better. I was determined to get out more, since it was a weekend when many friends were in town.
I had pulled my blackberry battery before I left for my Saturday run, thinking that would help with some of the issues I’d been having, and I’d left it out. I’d been having serious problems with the Torch(ure) since Friday. My blackberry was notoriously terrible — the touch screen would scroll through messages; would flip between texts, emails and bbms, routinely send the wrong message to the wrong person. Occasionally, I’d send messages containing nothing but Scandinavian characters.
I replaced the battery to confirm my dinner plans. The phone would not turn on. No way, no how.
I am, as everyone knows, a workaholic. I have absolutely ZERO work-life balance. My blackberry is often my lifeline, and I do EVERYTHING from that device — it was particularly important to have it since I am presently making the usual travel rounds. In a panic, I got on my laptop and emailed our IT guys and the assistant in our London office. They all responded immediately, whereupon I was sent to Carphone Warehouse to buy a new device, in which to insert my American SIM card.
“Okay,” I said, “I’m coming into the office to meet you. And I’m not changing out of my running clothes. I just want this resolved. NOW.”
(Mind you, I had just run about 13 miles; was salt-crusted; and my hair had that matted high-ponytailed thing going on that anyone who has seen me post-long run can attest is both typical and extremely unattractive)
An hour and £271 later, the Torch(ure) had been retired:
RIP, you horrid thing. May you never send messages meant for Miss Mal to the Englishman; may you never send messages meant for my ex-husband to JM; may you never send random characters — Scandinavian, Arabic, Roman or other — to any of the above or the others in my contacts list.
It took neigh on to forever to get my new device linked up to the company servers. By the time the tech guys finally linked me up, I had had to leave the office — I was meeting an old friend from my banking days for dinner.
“Don’t worry,” they told me, “We’ll drop it off for you!”
As I stood waiting for Heather, and I opened the envelope containing my blackberry, the device…winked at me…then flashed to a white screen and a ticking clock and said, “Wiping Device.”
I ran upstairs to my laptop, emailed the team again, gave up, and went out to a delicious dinner to catch up with Heather — who I hadn’t seen in six months. Post-dinner, I met up with some more old colleagues and the tech guys (who finally resolved the crisis and re-linked the new device…phew)
By that point, tequila shots were in order to celebrate.
We stayed out for hours until the sun finally rose golden over this city, my feet aching from the running and the pair of very tall heels I had been wearing.
I don’t stay out like that very often any more; rarely see the sunrise after being up all night unless I am landing at an some airport after a sleepless night on a plane. But the wildwoman does come out every so often again — and I know that these days are dangerous and precious and perhaps even limited.
So I crawled under the starchy duvet, and I slept for a good long time, and woke up to the sound of Sunday rain, and messages coming in on my new phone, and a strange new sense of normalcy.