There was something exciting about going for a walk with only my keys. No wallet, no phone, no money or cards – just keys. It was strangely liberating, like I was throwing caution to the wind.
You could probably tell I led a very boring life.
But I liked boring. Boring was safe. Better a boring life than a dangerous one, as my old mum used to say.
So I set out into the afternoon sun and walked down the street, past the freshly painted houses and well-groomed gardens. I enjoyed the fresh air tinged with jasmine and humidity, my legs grateful for the stretch. The sun was still relatively high in the sky and it wasn’t long before I worked up enough of a sweat to consider going back the way I came.
As I turned around on the footpath, a bicycle whooshed past behind me, right where I would have stepped next if I hadn’t decided to turn. I watched, flummoxed as the young man rode off in his tight lycra swimsuit (I supposed it could be a riding suit, but that would be silly). I hadn’t even the time to shout at him. Why did he have to go so fast? It wasn’t like he could be going anywhere special dressed like that.
I shook my head and continued back. It wasn’t as if I needed another reminder that I would be safer at home. But another reminder, I had.
As I stopped before a crossing to watch a cat gazing at me from across the road, a car came around and cut the curb. Drove up over the grassy bit for a good two meters before coming back down onto the road, then the back wheel followed. This time I ,managed to give them a good shout but they drove off anyway. I worried for them. It was much too early to be that drunk.
Finally I made it back home where my granddaughter was doing her homework.
“How was your walk, Nan?” she asked.
“Awful,” I said. “It’s getting more dangerous out there everyday.”
But she just rolled her eyes.