Friday, 14 February 2014

The motorbike, the party

I had moved away from my community and friends in order to be closer to work, as I having to travel a long way each day to and from work, and my employers used to have to pick me up at the bus station every day as there wasn't a reliable bus link.

So I took a bedsit, the one that I kept for two years and loved, a cozy bedsit with everything I needed. 
But I was isolated from my old friends and community, and my friends said I should get a motorbike.
I was quite scared, didn't think I could, but I looked into the idea, and I could do a CBT course for a small motorbike on my licence, I didn't know how to afford it, my salary was quite low.

JM was increasingly enthusiastic about me getting a motorbike so that I could still come back and see her and walk the dog and do her garden and be with my friends and help in church and community, so one day she took me to the motorbike shop.

We had already decided that the safest thing for me was a scooter-type bike.

So we went in, looking for something second-hand, but it was recommended to us that I got a new bike on finance.

The salesman was very persuasive, and he persuaded JM, who seemed easy to persuade, so she acted as guarruntor for the finance for the bike, it was a little dark red peugeuot scooter, 100cc, and it came with a free basic helmet and gloves and a free CBT training course, and they arranged the insurance and I got a year's tax too.
JM paid some money in deposit and said that this was my 21st Birthday present, I was very grateful, we had a rocky relationship in a way since I told her about her husband abusing me, but we loved each other, we were close.
I was allowed to choose from several registration plates for my scooter, as it was new.
One of the things I liked about the scooter was it had a top box so I could carry shopping and work stuff.

Anyway, the CBT day was a Saturday, which was also my 21st Birthday Party day at my friends' house back in my old community, so I was going to really hope for the best with the CBT and then go straight over to my friends house 14 miles away if I passed the test.

I was nervous, as I am, always nervous of instruction and training, and the trainer was a gruff biker, the only other trainee was a loud confident man who went on about 'the readies he had in the bank' over and over again.
I was so nervous, didn't think I could balance on the scooter, but I could, and I did.
I was fine, my problem was hearing the radio to hear what the instructor said, and forgetting to cancel the indicator, which did not always cancel automatically, I passed, but he warned me about the indicator and always to check it had cancelled.

So, already very tired, I set off to my friends' house 14 miles away. Or more, because I didn't know the short route yet.

On the way, just at a bend in the road, a policewoman stepped out and stopped me, argh! I had only just got on the road and the police had got me! No, there had been an accident up ahead and she was warning motorists to be careful of the glass. That made me nervous, but I passed the glass and was on my way.

I arrived on my little motorbike, and everyone cheered.

It was a wonderful party.
I had never had a party outside of my family, and the parties with the family had always been a bit closed, we hadn't many friends, so it was usually us and the other family.
But this was all my friends from church and youth group.

It always remains with me and makes me smile that 'The Clergy were running the bar', Peter and Tim, mainly, making sure everyone had a drink And Tim's present to me was a bottle of bucks fizz, which baffled me as I wasn't a drinker and wasn't sure what bucks fizz was! :)

I was overwhelmed with everything and everyone, people were giving me presents and the presents were piling up on the lounge floor. 
We were mainly in the garden and on the patio as it was a BBQ party, so we were lucky with the weather.

I joined my youth group for a paperchase round the large and beautiful garden, a garden that had helped to inspire my horticultural career, and we had great fun.

The BBQ went well and people were taking photos - and again these photos are now sadly lost.

There was a cake, and they all said three cheers and I cut the cake, very nervous because I had never cut a cake, and my co-ordination can be so poor.

JM was so busy that she came in only briefly, and sad to say I got upset with her and my insecurity and worries came out, but we sorted it, and no-one else heard the conversation. 
I was simply overwhelmed at the time, I didn't really know back then how I overloaded myself with things that my system couldn't cope with very well, and she was half-killing herself with overwork and so we were both stressed.

Anyway, when all the party guests had gone, I sat with my friends and opened the presents and cards, and my ever efficient friend wrote a list of who gave me what, so that I could make the thank you cards personal.

I stayed over with my friends, I always felt very safe and peaceful in the soft bed in their spare room, with the teddies and bolsters and books :) 

And in the morning we went to church as normal.

Lovely memories.


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