14. On small wins
Or maybe on help, and asking for it.
It feels like only yesterday that I wrote you because it was only yesterday. The Muse and The Kittycats are far, far away and I’m sending daily missives like a Bronté. Maybe it’s too much? But of course, you’ll only read my letters if you want to.
I went out in the van earlier. I got up early and went to Enfield to do some deliveries and collections for Felix. It’s something I do a couple of times a month-ish. I do it because a) I like driving almost as much as I like writing and b) I get to meet all sorts of amazing people. Today I met a coup-planning druid named Stuart with a dog named Dog. He likes to keep it simple. Stuart, I mean. And maybe Dog too. He definitely likes scritches. Dog, I mean. And maybe Stuart too, I didn’t ask him.
Anyway, I’d done my deliveries and I was on my way to Warburton’s to pick up some bread when I decided to ask for help. You see (and if you know me you might know this already) I’m bad at asking for lots of things but I am extremely, seriously, notoriously, very, very bad at asking for help.
Picking up bread from Warburton’s is slightly awkward. Because we only drive little vans and not national bread-hauling juggernauts we need to use the little door at the back of the big bakery. The little door is at the top a metal stairs just wide enough to fit the trays of loaves and crumpets and hot cross buns. Some days there are a hundred trays of delicious baked goods for collection. It’s possible to carry the trays down the stairs and load them in the van on your own but you’d be an idiot to do it that way. I usually do it that way.
With two people it’s exponentially easier – we can pass the trays to each other from the top of the stairs which makes it way quicker. Also, we can have an auld chat while we do it. Way better craic.
I don’t really know why I’ve been doing it on my own by default. Some hardwired getting-it-done mindset, some built-in desire for toil? The usual work I do at a keyboard is hardly physical. Maybe it’s something I learned at home – our dad was a worker. A hard, serious worker. Am I trying to do a bit of what he did? Work, work, work, work, work. Rooting, tearing, dragging, lifting. Brutal stuff. Mama is a worker still, but she’s definitely more of the smarter-not-harder school.
Today for some reason I decided to ask for help. Instead of going straight to the bakery for a solo slog, I went back to the depot and asked for a co-driver to lighten the load. I mean, I did dither – somewhere on the A1050 I was like nah, I’ll be grand, I’ll just do it myself but… I didn’t do it myself. Deb helped, and we had a great chat about living in, loving, and leaving London. Small wins. Enjoy the blue skies, everyone.