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Friday 2nd December 2022


I am getting pretty good at seeing a very short distance into the future. Mainly in incidents where things break. Partly due to my own incompetence.
The other day I had put my glass coffee cup on the side of the bath. As I got out of the water I thought to myself, that’s a bit of a silly place to put that, it could easily get knocked off. The bathroom would be the worst place for that to happen as people were often in there unshod. Thank goodness I’d seen the potential disaster.
Seconds later as I dried myself the towel flicked behind me and knocked the glass off. It shattered on the bathroom floor meaning I spent half an hour finding all the bits. It had come to pass exactly as I had predicted.
Today I went to the supermarket. I had a bag full of bottles, non-alcoholic beer for me and wine for my wife. At the check out I’d thought it might be stupid to put them all in the same bag - but it was a strong bag and one again, my powers of perception had forewarned me. I’d be careful. Just like I was in the bathroom.
The bag had been the first in the trolley and so was the last in the small boot of my eGolf. As I put it in again my Nostradamus powers warned me of potential disaster. If the bag shifted in the car, this perilously perched bag for life could shift its position and wine bottles might roll out as soon as I opened the boot.
Having foreseen the worst I was prepared and would prevent it. It’s great being able to predict the future like this and save myself from disaster. I didn’t want to waste time rearranging the bags. I’d just remember.
It’s a 15 minute drive home and I have a lot on my mind and I totally forgot about the bag of bottles until I opened the boot and several bottles rolled out and hit the tarmac.
Just as I had warned.
It’s scary how prescient I am.
I shouted out “No” as events unfolded, but could not prevent them. Remarkably - and no one could have predicted this - most of the bottles bounced and were fine. One beer bottle cap came a bit loose, but two or three wine bottles withstood the shock. One wine bottle didn’t. It smashed to pieces and my nostrils were filled with the pungent (and to me now quite unpleasant) smell of wine. I’d bought six bottles of wine, one really nice one, three over £10ers and then a couple of £5 Pinot Grigios to palm off on relatives and visitors. Sod’s Law would have declared that the fine bottle of Sancerre would smash, but it was one of the cheap bottles that was done for. It’s worth paying that extra couple of quid for a slightly stronger bottle,
As lucky as I had been in this unforeseeable disaster… OK foreseeable but unpreventable…. OK preventable, but only to someone who had thirty seconds spare to move some bags or their contents around… anyway, I had a further premonition, that the broken glass that was now right behind my car and in the place where I usually park, might spear one of my tyres and lead to another expensive call out for the mobile tyre van. 
So I spent five minutes crouched in the gutter picking up bits of glass and disposing of it all safely. It was hard to spot the dark glass against the black and muddy road, but I think I got all of it. 
But as you’ve seen, so many of my predictions come true. So this might still end up being a very expensive trip to the supermarket.

RHLSTP Book Club with Richard Osman (recorded at the Cheltenham Literary Festival) is now up.

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