We recently managed to lock ourselves out of the apartment, something we’ve not done for a while. Luckily our guardian was on site and soon came along with our spare key to which only he, and M Le President of the building committee, have access. This reminded me of a much earlier incident from 2010………….
You know how some days quickly turn from bad to worse? Well, today was one of those days. It started in the early hours of this morning when, thanks to my coughing, neither of us could sleep. I did the honourable thing and beat a retreat to the sofa. Not the spare room? No, because I’d just changed the bed linen ready for my next set of guests. We both fell asleep although I rose feeling cranky (or more cranky than usual).
I think it’s a combination of the weather and my inability to cycle. My cold is omnipresent and is severely interfering with my training programme. I can feel my previous form sliding away as I submit to yet another convulsion of coughing. I sound like a woman with a serious nicotine habit. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I feel in need of something more restorative than hot toddies but there’s only the thinnest smear in the tub of Vick’s unguent vapour rub. My nose is now redder than Rudolf’s and I’ll shortly exhaust my supplies of paper tissues, handkerchiefs, loo roll and kitchen towels.
In preparation for our departure this afternoon to Munich, my beloved had asked me to check on the nearest train station to the hotel. It was a good 15 minute walk. I’d already viewed the weather report and had gotten out my fur lined boots, fur lined coat and plenty of cashmere. We usually stay in Accor hotels. They’re clean, the beds are very comfortable, the breakfasts generous, there’s WiFi in every room and we feel at home in them. But my beloved had early starts programmed for both Thursday and Saturday mornings and had chosen a hotel near one of his colleagues. Hang on a minute, Saturday? That was the only time we were going to be together to buy the skis?
A quick review of my beloved’s revised schedule and I was going to be lucky to do anything other than sleep with him. I checked out the hotel he’d booked on one of the independent hotel review sites. It didn’t make for pleasant reading. No gym and no in-room internet service, despite brochure and website claims to the contrary. The list went on: paper thin walls, flimsy beds, elderly furnishings but good breakfasts. Well that’s alright then. This was where I was going to be marooned for three days? I don’t think so. I pulled out of the trip citing my cold and pressure of work.
As usual my beloved had to be chivied to get ready to leave for the airport. He holds firm to his belief that we live only 10 minutes from the airport and, if he has to be there 40 minutes beforehand, having already printed his boarding pass, there’s no need to leave until 50 minutes before departure. He was cutting it fine and in the rush to leave I slammed shut the front door believing, quite foolishly and wholly mistakenly, that he had the keys. No, he didn’t and neither did I. Still not his problem, he was leaving.
In an effort to be conciliatory, as I was driving to the airport, he kept asking how I was going to resolve the problem. At this point, I had no idea but having him wittering on about it wasn’t helping my thought processes. I had to stop briefly at the Post Office on the way to the airport where disaster did very nearly strike. One of our many elderly citizens, in her anxiety to claim a parking spot, nearly ran me down on the zebra crossing. I didn’t have time to stop and suggest she visited an optician pronto.
Back in the car, I sped to the airport and, with some relief, dropped off my beloved. Three days of peace and quiet, albeit without a roof over my head. I’d compounded the problem by leaving behind my mobile phone. I did however have a plan B. I always keep the keys to my sister’s apartment in the car, they’d just left and so………
I had a number of important tasks to undertake for the cycle club and decided to get these out of the way first before tackling the looming homeless problem. I could also make use of the telephone and internet down at the club. Yes, I always keep the keys to the club in my car. I used to have a spare set of front door keys with the guardian but, since we’ve not had one on-site for the past 18 months, I had liberated (bad choice of word) the keys about 10 month’s ago.
Our front door is solid, very solid, backed with steel and impossible to jimmy open. You would need to drill out the lock. I could hold at bay my fear of heights and shimmy along the balcony to get onto the terrace, but, thanks to the cold weather, none of the sliding windows were open. No, they’re locked tight with burglar proof locks. So no chance of calling out M Le President and his cohorts down at the local fire station for a quick lift up to the balcony. Anyway, he’d gone to Paris.
I rang the company who’d fitted the lock. They had the details of my lock but it’s an old one and they had no blanks in stock. They volunteered to ring around their other branches and get back to me. I made myself a coffee and continued with my club stuff. All the while there was this nagging thought, what had I done with the guardian’s spare key? I hadn’t left it in the car because the car’s registration details show our address. I was sure I’d put it somewhere safe and accessible, but my cold was making me woolly headed.
Bingo! The lights went on. I had put the spare house key in an envelope, in the safe, in the clubhouse. I opened the safe and there it was. I finished my work, rang the locksmith to tell them to stop searching and headed home. Meanwhile, my beloved had rung and left a message to see if I had managed to gain entry. I sent him a text to let him know I was at home. No response. He must have been out for dinner, safe in the knowledge that I would have figured out something. I always do.