It's been a strange morning, sleep-wise, all things told. I didn't get to sleep until about 6.30am, and had left the curtains slightly open under the mistaken impression that when I finally woke up, the sunlight would at least drive me out of bed. That plan consistently fails because a) I can't fall asleep in a room with annoying light in it (which is quite irritating at the moment, seeing as I need light to stop thinking about collie_wing
's sodding haunted painting post, fake or otherwise...) and b) I'm really good at falling asleep after I've woken up, whether I need the sleep or not...
So, anyway, I set my alarm for 11.00. Set it again for 11.45. And 12.30. You get the idea. And throughout all of this, I was plagued by exceedingly random dreams, only a couple of which I can remember in any vivid detail or make any sense of...
In one, I was looking out of the window, and there was a thunderstorm. The sky was a deep, end-of-the-world-is-nigh blue, with purplish tinges, and I had the window shut so couldn't hear said thunderstorm, and only realised it was happening at all when a huge white fork of lightning came down from the sky and hit the ground. A dark black cloud flew overhead with pin-pricks of light inside it, and it was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen... Woke up from that one feeling quite odd...
The one after that was about me trying to get to work, probably because when I woke up at ten, I thought, I should probably just get up now
, and then realised I'd be knackered at work if I did, not that I'm usually not, but anyway... In the dream, I was getting ready for work. For some reason, I was wearing my old black trainers (the wedge ones), and carrying my new bag, and come 7.20, I was still trying to get ready. I remember looking out of the window and realising it was raining. Everything was tinged dark blue, that is, not street-lamp-coloured. I recall being quite happy about it raining, just because I always am when I have to walk somewhere. I'd rather walk in rain than sweltering heat, personally...
Anyway, somehow I managed to lose 25 entire minutes trying to sort out my jumper, which was refusing to cooperate or sit properly under my coat, so I thought I'd get a taxi because it would be quicker than running for a bus, and I was less likely to be horrendously late. So I was walking, strangely, towards
Friargate, but not from any of the usual roads, and higher up than I would need to be to get a taxi, and I knew this, but also recalled that taxis randomly stopped along that stretch anyway. Everything was still blue-tinted. While I was leaving halls, there were two or three blokes behind me chatting amongst themselves, one of whom had crutches (I have a vague recollection of seeing someone with crutches yesterday...) except he was using old-fashioned hooked walking sticks instead of crutches. I couldn't walk fast because the backs of my legs were really, really aching.
(Side note, I have really vivid dreams when it comes to sensations; sometimes I wake up in pain in the same place as in a dream, which sort of implies the dream-pain is connected to muscle cramps. Still, it's quite interesting... The pinching-myself-to-see-if-it-hurts thing would never work with me; it'd still hurt, dream or not.)
I remember thinking that when I finally got to work, I'd be in no state to work anyway, but soldiered on. I found a taxi, and got in, told him "Mickleover - the Vine" and asked him how much it would be. He said £5.90 (not sure if that's accurate or not. Probably is by the time they've taken traffic into account.) The logic behind the taxi, you see, was that it wouldn't go all round the estate like the buses do, just straight up Uttoxeter Road, and thus, straight to the Vine. Turned out my logic was flawed there...
The taxi became some kind of bus, in that were randomly lots of other people on it. And it was suddenly daylight, and it was going in a route that was very similar to the one I used to travel to the Coopers Arms last year, around the local villages. As it turned a corner, there was a house with a semi-burnt out roof, and I remember thinking I'd have to take some photos for urban_decay
(residual from last night's unfinished tennis with Eni about life being dictated by LJ posts...) As the taxi/bus rounded the corner, though, the other side of the house revealed itself, and there was a great big hole
in the side of it, and the surrounding hillside/field, where there'd been some kind of explosion. I mean, it was a huge black crater. So everyone was looking to see what the heck had happened.
A Japanese bloke in front of me started talking to his (English) friend and telling him what had happened, but it became apparent he was actually describing random anime instead.
It got to Mickleover, and pulled up outside the Vine. I paid my £5.90 (with a fiver and a pound coin) and he gave me a handful of change to sort through to get my 10p change; I remember not having time and hurling about 50p into my purse before legging it, and the driver saying "I've never seen anyone sort out 10p of coppers that fast before!"
So I got to work, and found Sue behind the bar looking frantic, having enrolled Shaun (his brother used to be the landlord before Steve) and some random punter to help out, despite the fact that there were only about two people actually in the place. Sue lifted the hatch so I could get through to the back room, while I was muttering apologies, and I glanced at the clock to discover it was 4.30 (and I was meant to start at 4.00, which is obviously my brain's equivalent of 8.00) and apologised some more, and then the next thing I said was,
"Oh, great, I've left my-"
"...bag on the bus?"
At which point, she brought it through because the taxi/bus driver had found it and brought it in. So, relief all around there... She complimented the bag, and I got straight to work. It turned out there was also some other random girl working there who'd been there longer than me, and actually slightly resembled either Naomi's friend Dee, or one of the girls I used to work with at the Coopers. Anyway, instead of a dog, they had a cat (I think they do have a cat, actually... upstairs) and it was playing with... some kind of tray, managing to bounce on it like a pogo-stick. We tried to stop the cat getting into the main bar, but it was so funny we had to let everyone see, so while the cat was bouncing around the room, and we were all giggling at it (and cat-owners know what cat-induced hysterics can be like...) the Evil Punter came to the bar.
He handed me a pint glass, and demanded two pints of the guest ales, the name of which I now can't remember. Now, you know what it's like when you're horrendously late - you're flustered and your brain doesn't function. So I started pulling the pint, before realising that a) it was Guinness (on the wrong side of the bar, and also on a pump, which was plain weird since it's on tap these days) and b) Shaun was apparently cleaning it, since there was the weird blue/green cleaning fluid coming out of it instead of beer. At which point, I remembered him saying "Hang on a sec" and vanishing to the cellar. Anyway, I moved onto the actual beer pump, and started pulling. It was taking five times as long as it should have done, and was very hard work; generally, when the pump makes it hard work, you get accused of being bad at pulling pints, and no amount of plaintive cries of "It's the pump!!" seem to register.
So I pulled half a pint or so of this stuff, which was also really frothy so I had to let it settle, and started on the second one. Evil Punter looked at me, and sayed "Well?"
I flapped about - metaphorically, because you can't flap when you pull pints, really - before realising he wanted to know how much it would cost, so I said, "Oh, uh... £2.31..."
He looked at the other half-pulled pint glass. "Which makes..."
He plonked a tenner down on the bar after giving me a withering stare, and wandered off. By the time he'd come back, of course, the damned beer had run out, which sort of explains the difficulty in trying to pull it, so I was looking for Shaun and apologising to Evil Punter, (who, of course, answered with "Typical!" as if it was my fault - side note, why do they think, when a certain regular beer is off, that asking for the landlord will miraculously make it appear? It's off for a reason!)
And then more of the damn cleaning stuff started coming out of the bitter pump,some of which had ended up in the bloke's beer by this point due to aforementioned flusteredness. The drip tray underneath was also full of foam, and I couldn't empty it into the sink because Shaun had plonked something else in there, and the other girl was tryng to juggle three trays-worth of dirty glasses with only two actual trays, and nowhere to put the extra dirty ones.
Somehow the Punter got his pints. I took the tenner he put down and it took me three attempts to coordinate my fingers in the correct sequence for "4-6-2" (we don't have an itemised till, see; in all honesty, it's far quicker not
having one, because you spend far less time on average looking for the damned buttons...) and another two attempts to find the "£10" button that would tell me what the change was, my brain not being in a fit state to figure it out by myself.
Naturally, I gave him the wrong change, and he gave me £1.05 back, "as expected". He then followed this up by sitting on the barstool near the wall, sipping his pint, and saying, "You're just a bit thick, really, aren't you?"
To which I went into a tirade: "Look, I'm half an hour late, I'm flustered, we've got a new till with all the change in the wrong place, and just... just leave it, okay?" and stormed off into the other bar (where nobody was) before wandering back through to the glass-room bit, where the other girl asked if I was okay. I just said "He's such a complete bastard..."
That's all I remember. It was very weird, though. Luckily, we don't have any Evil Punters like him in real life. There's the occasional few who ask you to top up their pint even if it's only got, like, a quarter-inch of head on it, but mostly they're quite friendly.
Incidentally, Rachel, I'm trying to reply to your comment, but I'll say it here: glad you liked the cover, and I'll go look for my tape when the office opens in an hour. Eni, I'll reply to your comment, too, when LJ cooperates...
That being said, here's hoping this posts...