I hate being late for anything. I am naturally a control freak and punctuality is important to me. Yet country living sometimes throws things at you that are out of your control and in these instances I battle to stay calm – yesterday was just such a day.
House hunting is stressful work. Oh yes, its not just looking a beautiful huge houses, dreaming about winning the lottery and being able to buy one for myself. There is a lot of behind the scenes work, phone calls and meetings to get into houses early. I had been ‘bashing’ the phones all morning and had an afternoon with 3 houses to view back to back. I had been given a lead and was keen to find out more, so after a long conversation on the phone, I left the office 5 minutes late! Driving at speed and avoiding the familiar potholes, I left Upham to get to Alton, with time already against me, when a large white owl flew down and landed on a hedge just in front of the car. I am a London girl at heart and have never seen an owl in the wild….brake hard and stare…..the owl stares back and just sits there. I felt ridiculously excited and frozen. I can hear you saying “it was only an owl” but to a townie, seeing such a large and magical bird so close, was mesmerizing. I couldn’t drive off. What if I never saw one again. Why was it awake? I thought owls came out at night. What type of owl was it? So I sat, it sat, my phone rang – reality hit – drive on fast….
Still trying to make up time, being hindered by a slow police car, an oil tanker AND a dustbin lorry, my anxiety levels were rising. If I was late to the first house I would be late for the other two and late getting home and would never see my boys! Why today? Does seeing an owl mean something? With sat nav saying 5 minutes from destination, I caught up with a white van. The driver must either be drunk or on the phone. Where is that police car? Why doesn’t he let me past? Why is he doing 25miles per hour when we could be doing 60? I was feeling sick, and getting angry. Finally the road ahead was straight enough for me to overtake, at which point the van driver swerved out a bit, preventing me from passing. Now I was really angry, this person must know I was late and they were trying to make me later! Just as another opportunity arose to pass, I saw the legs of a deer thrusting into my line of vision as it ran along in front of the van! All stress once again melted away, the running deer, the beautiful owl…. I was reminded of why we moved to the country.