Janet Christie's Mum's the Word
Hi-vis puts me on high alert
“Where have you been? Says Middle Chiled when I finally make it back to the homestead after a night round at some pals.
“The roads are all closed off,” I tell him, ‘cos of The Queen. “So I couldn’t get through and went the long way round, after trying different rat runs. I thought I could maybe squeeze through a couple, but people in hi-vis jackets just gave me that ‘Ah dinnae think so hen’ look.”
“Yeah, like this.” He fixes me with the one eyebrow raised head tilt.
“Oh, that’s very effective,” I say, practising.
“I was like that when I was re-directing the traffic on Leith Walk,” he says.
Middle, like his siblings, has a habit of springing stories on me after the event that cause me to emit the involuntary mum gasp - like the one where he was lost alone in docklands somewhere in Portugal in the small hours because he fell asleep on the train until the final stop and had to kneel in the road to stop the only car around in small hours and beg the driver for a lift to the airport so he could catch the last plane that would get him to his grandad’s funeral in Germany on time.
“It was all fine, I got there, and no, ma, the man didn’t make me do anything, but it did make me have one of those em, epiphanies, and think I should be more together,” he said as I waited for my heart rate to return to normal. “And I have been ever since.”
Really? Stupid boy.
“So you stand and hold your hand up with authority,” he continues.
“When and why were you re-directing traffic on Leith Walk. Isn’t that illegal? Dangerous?”
“Nah. No choice. Mate’s car had broken down and we all had to push it up the hill. So it was a safety situation with all the buses and cars n’ that.”
Me: Mum gasp.
“And I had a hi-vis jacket on,” he says.
Course he did.
“Yeah, hi-vis jacket, do the look, it was smashing. Although some drivers recognised me and just waved, thinking ‘oh there’s Middle directing traffic on The Walk’.” He chuckles.
“Why have you got a hi-vis jacket?” I say.
“Everyone needs a hi-vis jacket. I’ll get you one. See, it’s all about planning ahead.”