Last week I read an article by Dani Garavelli in the Scotsman suggesting that, rather than pouring scorn on mums doing the school drop off in their pyjamas, we should hail them as counter cultural icons. I’m always one for the the non-conformist approach and idly wondered what people would think If I wore my pyjamas into the office.
I thought nothing more of it until today. Today has been the 1034th day of consecutive rain on the west coast of Scotland (to my reckoning). And not just a bit of rain: torrential floods, teeming cats and dogs, bucketing. All around Sula the rain sits in puddles, the mud is monstrous.
We spent the day varnishing windowsills and doing other useful stuff until I couldn’t bear being cooped up inside any more and headed off for a run in a break in the rain. By the time I started my run it was torrential again and, with needles in my face and an ice cream head, I set off into the headwind. After 5 minutes I was soaked through, after 20 a drowned rat would have lent me his towel.
I headed back to the house to change. The afternoon activity was burning yet more cardboard and waste wood with a few bits of chair and tree that Jamie the farmer had dragged out of the burn as Storm Henry gathered.
Ronnie the digger-driver had excavated us a moat, perhaps more conventionally referred to as a drainage ditch. I recklessly headed across the garden to investigate how it was working. It was running with water, which was good, I sunk in nearly to the top of my welly, which was less good.
I managed to extract myself, with difficulty, and then spotted a stray bit of insulation that had blown into the farmer’s field. I crossed the moat to grab it and sunk in way over the top of my right boot. I tried to rebalance and the other welly went in over the top. As I pulled at one welly and then the other I sunk deeper and deeper into the mud. My shouts for help went unheard. (later I discovered that husband couldn’t come to the rescue as I’d borrowed his shoes to go to the car to get my wellies and left them there.)
I considered taking my wellies off and crawling to safety but then I remembered how polar bears walk on thin ice – spread your weight- I reached over to the insulation and used it to kneel on while I pulled my wellies out.
So that was the second outfit rendered unwearable. Pyjamas was all I had left; a good reason to stay inside and buckle down to being useful. It wasn’t until most of the way through the drive back to Glasgow that Dani’s article came starkly to mind.
I needed the loo.
As we drove down Loch Lomond side I started weighing up the options.
How bad is it to go into a service station and ask to use the loo while wearing pyjamas? Quite bad.
What about the one with an M&S where I actually know the location of the loo and wouldn’t have to ask? Worse.
I remembered that I was also wearing my Icelandic jumper inside out (put on in a hurry in the dark while rummaging in the boot). Even worse.
How about a lay by? But it was still pouring with rain.
What would Garavelli do? I thought. Actually I didn’t care. I wasn’t wearing PJs and an inside out Icelandic jumper in public.
I remembered the magic toilet cubicle in Balloch. One of those automatic booths that rinses the whole thing down once you’ve been. Genius. We pulled into the dark car park, and I sprinted to the booth and back. Mission accomplished.
The beneficial byproduct of the episode is that I don’t need to try wearing my Pyjamas to work. I’ve realised I’m just not counter-cultural enough to brazen it out. Just yet.