I have just experienced an extremely dull three days. This was the result of spending the bank holiday weekend on my own with nothing to do - which in turn, is the result of having been single for the first time in three years.
When you're in a relationship, you get accustomed to having someone to do interesting things with, like day trips or visiting exhibitions or throwing things at each other in the park, or going to the cinema to watch some shonky Yank-flick and canoodling in the back row.
It wasn't that I didn't DO anything. It was just I wasn't doing anything with a boyfriend in tow. I wasn't WITH anyone. It was a bothersome feeling, like that nagging sensation that you were meant to do something today, but forgot about it, or that you feel you may have missed an important meeting but you can't be sure.
But I did have some interesting first-time experiences. Such as a friend and myself being the only two people in the Cinema on friday night and we walked out half-way through the film. That must have been a first - a film being shown to an audience of two, who walk out mid-way. She's a lot more sensitive than I am. Being a journalist de-sensitises you I guess, although I am sick in the head and found the idea of an Inquisitor being tortured over the dinner-table rather amusing. But then again, I think jokes about poo are funny. Takes all sorts to make up a world.
That evening, after ditching the film (Goya's Ghosts if anyone cares) we headed off home and I decided to finally crack open that £125 bottle of Bollinger I had been saving in the fridge for when Laurence proposed.
YEP, another first for me. Not that no-one's proposed, but that I drank a whole bottle of Bolly by myself. What a sad git. I was afraid I was turning into Patty and became very emotional about becoming a middle-aged woman (I am 29). Perhaps it was this irrational phobia about such a metamorphosis that made me dream that I was a trainee Padawan. Yes, for the FIRST time in my life, I dreamt about being a Jedi.
It was the thought of this dream - of course, I was the GREATEST padawan that the world had ever known - that made me feel slightly invincible the next day. Or perhaps it was the fact I was still bolly-ed up.
The effects of this superhero-inside feeling became apparent when I offered to pop down to the local shops to pick up some groceries for mum. It's a nice walk, about 20 mins, where she lives. Residential, quiet, a few pikeys around, but nothing too bad. Except... two small boys on a bike - one fat kid about 12 and a smaller one of 10 tail-riding on the back of it - swept past me.
As they did, the small tyke tried unsuccessfully to pull my tiny handbag off my shoulder (I always hold the strap in front). They cycled off, as fast as the fat kid could pedal, and I was mad. I was steaming. HOW DARE THEY? Little punks. I was so mad that I started to run after them. They never looked back to see me. But there I was, three months of training at the gym paying off in my pace and stamina, and my mind full of the heroic strength I had received as a Jedi knight... they were going to see what a Jedi/Middle-aged drunk woman could do...
I was not sure whether I was going to box their ears or not. 50 years ago, had I been alive, I would have boxed cheerfully, knowing that there would be no repercussions. Indeed, had a friendly Bobby been lumbering around the vicinity in 1957, and had seen the incident, he would have given free reign for an ear-boxing retribution. "Here's a clip around the back of the head from me, too, laddy." Then they would have been taken back to their houses, where their own mas would have tanned their fat hides with a broom. Ah the good old days that I dont remember at all. They were lovely days.
But it's 2007, I'm a youth worker, and 10-year olds carry knives. No matter. Patty the Padawan soon caught up with them. By now Fatty had stopped puffing away on the pedals and had dismounted to spend a few moments breathing very heavily through his nose. Small Tyke was sitting on the bike. Neither heard me creep up behind them. I bent towards Small Tyke and shouted
Boo? Boo? They tried to steal my purse, and all I could say was BOO?
You remember, of course, that famous scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke creeps up behind Darth and shouts: "BOO! Ha ha ha ha ha! Where's the Force now, then, eh Dad? Got you that time!... Ow! Get off my arm! That hurts.... Mommy..."
Well whatever. It had the same effect as if I'd boxed his ears, but without the fear of a) being beaten up by the FUZZ, or b) being bitch-slapped by his teenage mom.
The Small Tyke screamed. His eyes bulged and he went pale - as pale as he could. His FAT friend froze and stopped gasping for air for a second.
I didn't have a smart answer. I gave THE LOOK. And I walked off. True, I hadn't said anything. I'd not boxed or even clipped his ears. I'd not been particularly brave or fierce or BIG.
But for the first time in my life, I had made a child scream. And it felt good.