Walking and Not Walking in Leighton Buzzard

Not the best or most edifying start to my working week. The rain did not help. Nor the bright glare of the low winter sun when I was trying to find a place to park my car in the little town of Leighton Buzzard. I left it in a supermarket car park with a plan to move it later to avoid any penalty charges. I grabbed my brief case and strode up the road towards the clinic. I was a man with a mission – and a brief case. A top psychologist striding forth to lend his wisdom to those struggling with psychological issues.

Without warning, with no clear memory of how I made the rapid transition from walking to not walking, I found myself lying in the road. I had fallen off the kerb and somehow rolled over, getting my coat and trousers wet and dirty. I did not even realise I was walking so close to the kerb. I have often thought of my career ending with a tabloid headline along the lines of “Top Psychologist Falls From Grace”, but falling from the kerb? It lacks a sense of moral outrage Helping others struggling with their psychological issues, while at the same time struggling with his walking skills. Furthermore, I am a recent First Dan in traditional Tang Soo Do –  control, grace and balance. And maybe how to fall properly, so not all is lost.

Furtherfurthermore, I have been attending yoga classes for over a year now. Flexibility, poise and balance. Interweaved with breathing. How can I hold my head up in class? I will lie low, in my half-pigeon pose. Half pigeon, half psychologist – a therapist who….

This is not the end of the story. An hour later I had to go back to move my car. Panic. No car keys. I emptied out all the pockets in my coat, jacket and trousers. Nothing. Maybe I left them in the ignition? Or they fell out when I got close and personal with the road? I had images of being stranded in Leighton Buzzard for the rest of my life, miles from home, and accumulating parking fines of £50 a day.

I re-traced my steps. No car keys in the road. Nor on the pavement. And then – I saw them glistening in the gutter, in a little pool of water, looking a bit forlorn (as would you if you were abandoned in a wet gutter in Leighton Buzzard, or even somewhere nicer).

So, unedifying. Unfortunate. Maybe embarassing. But also with a happy ending. I had not lost my keys. And perhaps more importantly, the road was clear of traffic on a bend that is normally very busy. That would have been a different story.



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