This afternoon I decided to go out to the shops, to pick up a few things for Christmas day: a chicken to roast for the kids, a last minute present for a neighbour and a few minor bits and pieces. As the car was coated in ice and I didn’t fancy driving on roads that are basically skid pans, I figured I’d walk.
Every other person in Seattle has bought rubber and metal attachments for their shoes so they have spikes on the bottom of their feet. I just had my three year old boots, and hadn’t realized the whole way from our house to the shops was black ice. So I kept skidding and sliding, and every time I had to cross a road, I couldn’t get up the kerb on the other side without sliding backwards. This culminated in a short cut through a back alley where I started sliding down a minor slope, sat on my haunches trying not to land on my arse. It took around an hour and a half to totter my way to the shops – less than a mile.
At the shops, I did present buying fast, but at the supermarket there were no trolleys or baskets, and hardly any tills open, so I had to queue, holding a frozen chicken in one hand and two handfuls of carrots in the other, for about half an hour. As I warmed up, I found that wearing four layers inside wasn’t so great, and only narrowly avoided fainting before I checked out.
On the way back, I found a shopping trolley (from the Safeway a mile west of where I was) and I used this like an old person with a walker to navigate the ivy streets home again, taking only an hour to get back, where I collapsed onto the sofa and tried to wrestle with the problems of reality for a while before dinner.
So that was my exercise for the day. Hips unbroken, butt unbruised. Still have to get cream tomorrow…