Friday, 3 April 2015


You know those days when you can’t seem to get on with anything? When, just as you start to attend to one pressing matter, another one pops up needing more urgent pressing? Or when, no matter how trivial, an affair intervenes which is insistent in its urgency? Yes, yesterday I had one of those days. It all began just before the morning break when I suddenly realised I had an urge to pop down to the corner shop. Of course, no sooner had I announced tea break than a short line of students appeared to ask me questions which I swear I had only that second supplied the answers to.

Students suitably ridiculed, chastened and sent on their way I checked my watch and I still had time to make it to the corner shop, so I grabbed my coat, checked my wallet was in my pocket and headed down the stairs only to be waylaid by a colleague. Is it urgent? I asked, but by the time he had at length explained why it was sort of urgent but not desperately urgent and it could, on reflection, wait until the afternoon, there was no longer time for my planned excursion. I had a coffee instead and wrote on a PostIt™ note “Go to corner shop!!!” in big, bold print.

The next two hours dragged by as I kept seeing the note and I made sure to handle all the questions before calling lunch and quickly slipping out of the door. Down the stairs I bounded and across the car park I strode when suddenly I heard my name being called. Bollocks. Three colleague queries, a lengthy ‘exchange of views’ and two trips to reception later I realised I was out of time once more and that the afternoon recess was simply too short to make my journey to the corner shop. I would have to wait until the end of the day and brave the rush hour.

So the afternoon slipped by quite quickly as I duelled with a class of Ohmically-challenged trainee electricians, casting pearls before swine and wasting my best routines on a tough crowd of glowering malcontents. Admittedly, they do have an exam coming up but, I really needed to get down to the corner shop, so I ploughed grimly on, straight through the afternoon break until home time. As I packed up my things I saw the PostIt™ poking out from the corner of a pile of discarded mock exam papers. Phew, I’d nearly forgotten!


So, finally, off the premises. I locked my briefcase in the car and strode off to the corner shop – even though this necessitated a return journey there was little point in driving in the gridlocked, homebound, mass of frustrated commuters. A brisk ten-minute stroll and there I was at the corner shop. I checked the window display to be sure then I strode in to place my order. Mission accomplished; I bought a corner.


  1. Cheer up, A.K.M! I'm sure Batsby is still a long way from rock bottom - thank God!