I am hoping all bad things come in threes, making the way clear for only good things to happen thereafter. Do you get the impression I may be just a bit superstitious? Let me explain.
Yesterday was The Big Day - a day we had been waiting for for months. Kay had an interview at a university in Yorkshire. These interviews are like gold-dust and the fact that she had been selected for interview was in itself an achievement, even if she was not successful to receive an offer of a place afterwards. The course she wants is so popular and there are ten applications for every place. Two universities have already rejected her without even an interview, despite the fact she has top grades for the courses, purely on the fact that they had too many good-quality applicants. We had heard that this particular university in Yorkshire is so popular that it only interviews 20% of applicants for that particular course - and of that 20% only one third are actually selected. So Kay has been lucky to get that far. Over the last few weeks, she has been getting very very nervous, researching the sort of questions she might be asked, and I admit to secretly biting my fingers down to the knuckles too. I just hoped and prayed that we would get an auspicious day for the interview. Would fate have other things in mind?
The day before (Wednesday) Kay came home from school looking like death - she had a sore throat, which made her feel she had swallowed a razor-blade, and a headache. By the next morning (Interview Day) she could swallow even less and felt nauseous (not from nerves but because she was ill). (Bad Thing Number One)
We had to be up at the crack of dawn as well, which did not help. We woke to a clear sky and icy streets. Greg had promised us a lift in the car to the local commuter train station, but his offer was first off and then on again, once he discovered the car locks were frozen and he could not open up the doors. He managed to prise open a door on my car and we were halfway to the station when we came upon a traffic accident which blocked our thoroughfare. One completely mangled car was being hoisted onto a transporter lorry, another four cars were lying on the roadside in various states of smashed metal and two policemen were sweeping broken glass away from the centre of the road. (Quite how or what had happened is still unclear but by last night someone had tied bouquets of flowers to a lamp post which suggests to me there had been a fatality.) (Bad Thing Number Two) Thinking selfishly of missing our commuter train, Kay and I sprang out of our car and ran along the icy streets as fast as we could to get the train, as there was now no way Greg could get us there in time. It was then that Kay mused that bad things happen in threes. She knew and I knew that we did not want the third thing to be her interview.
Once in Central London, we caught the train from Kings Cross up to Yorkshire and it was on the way that (thankfully) the third bad thing happened - it snowed heavily. Weather forecasts for Yorkshire for yesterday had been for fine sunshine (if cold) but no snow was predicted at all. In fact it snowed the entire day from the moment we arrived at about 11.30 am until the moment we left at around 5.30pm. Kay was wearing her fine interview clothes and high heels.We did get quite wet on the way to the university (so Bad Thing Number Three). I had to separate from Kay for most of the day, while she was treated to a group lunch, tours of the campus and had her interview. While Kay was thus locked inside for several hours about to meet her doom, I had hoped to kill time looking around the town and find some of the university accommodation to see how far it was from the campus, look at the shopping area, gain a general impression maybe. But with the snow falling quite thick and heavy, my attempts to wander nonchalantly around were thwarted, not least because there was a cold wind and I had meanwhile got lost - it was snowing so much, I could not even stop to open up the street map I had bought months ago! With my head down against the bracing blizzard, it was proving all too impossible to look around me. In the end, I managed to find the town centre, have a sandwich and join Kay at a pre-determined time, sitting with her for the final moments leading up to her interview. So hopefully that was the three bad things out of the way, leaving only good to come at the interview stage.
Kay's impression was that the interview went so-so. She has no idea what they thought of her and will only know in about six weeks if she has been successful. But we have to live with the odds that only one in three interviewees will get through to the next stage and that once three bad things have happened, it leaves room for the good things! Fingers (and everything else) crossed.