23 November 2011

Twenty-three and it's so sad to me, you tell the world I'm dead to you.

As most of you know, Sherlock clambered into bed with us last night, all sad and wanting hugs. He was pretty warm, so John sorted out medicine, I got him some water, and we wrapped him up inbetween us. He wriggled. A lot. He always does, but feeling all out of sorts and uncomfortable and feverish he was even more wriggly than usual.

We're just glad he seeks us out when he needs us.

So, early this morning when I dragged myself onto the freezing fog filled streets, the world looked a bit like this:



That's Westminster bridge and NOT Big Ben (Sherlock insists I don't call it that, because that's not its name, even though that's what you'll probably all know it as...) It's the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster.

Did fairly tedious work all day - essential, but tedious - drank too much coffee, fretted over two of my favourite boys, came home, cooked dinner, tried to persuade my boyfriend he is far, far from useless and am currently being sat on by Sherlock, who is wrapped in a blanket and still in his pyjamas.

Today's question:

DW asked "Why/how you became a cop."


I've been thinking about that for ages. I mean...it's me. I'm a police officer. There've been times in my life when I've felt that's all that defines me. It's all I've been. It's given me reason to get up in the morning.

But I can't pretend that, at the beginning, I was driven by purely altruistic motives.

I'd worked a lot of jobs, never held one down for very long, really. Some I liked, some I hated, some paid better than others. All of them didn't seem as important as going out, playing music, dreaming of making it big... and if that meant the next morning I couldn't get out of bed, or had such a bad hangover I failed to get to work...well, it didn't matter.

Except it did. And I lived in some terrible places...real dives. And then I couldn't even afford those. So I ended up in a squat. It sort of made the terrible places look like the Ritz.

One day I was out busking for cash and got moved on (again) by a beat bobby. He was nice though - told me he liked my playing, bought me a mug of tea. Turned out he played the drums a bit, so we had a nice chat.

The next time I spoke to Mum, or Nicky - don't remember which - and got the lecture on looking after myself and getting a job and making something of my life, I blurted out that I was going to be a policeman. Shut them up. Temporarily. (Although I nearly didn't go through with it - once I'd realised that my lifestyle really, really wasn't compatible with the job. But...well, more pride than sense, sometimes. And I didn't have any better ideas.)

So then I had to do it. And I enjoyed it. Made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile. Helping people. Getting a bit of respect for the first time in my life - but being taught a good deal about respecting other people, too.

I started out far too angry, far too ready to get stuck in to fights. But some good blokes sorted me out, showed me that wasn't always the solution.

So here I am. It was sort of an accident, really. Should have waited a few years, and I could have sold my soul to Simon Cowell not Robert Peel. (I obviously don't mean that. I wouldn't - couldn't - give it up. And the few times it has seemed like I might have to have been incredibly hard.)

50 comments:

REReader said...

We're just glad he seeks us out when he needs us.

I'm so glad he has you two.


No, you shouldn't have waited for Cowell--while musicians do something important, you are doing something VERY important, and with a level of empathy that is badly needed. *nods decisively*

John H. D. Watson said...

I'm really glad you found something that's worked out so well for you. Or that it found you. Did you ever see the bobby who bought you tea again?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

No. At the time I never thought to ask his name or anything. At the time I didn't think that a week or so later I'd be following in his footsteps.

I don't know, people like Nicky say I was destined to do it or something, but I don't think I was. It's just sort of worked out for me.

Anon Without A Name said...

Gorgeous photo :-)

Oddly, I sort of found my career sort of by accident too, and after a while realised it was closer to a vocation. It's weird to think that had a different job offer come up first (and I was applying for jobs left right and centre), I wouldn't have found this vocation, I wouldn't live in the town or even the part of the country where I do, and I would never have met my husband.

I wouldn't - couldn't - give it up. And the few times it has seemed like I might have to have been incredibly hard.

OK, please count "Why/when/how/etc has it seemed like you might have had to give up policing?" as my next question. I'm burning with curiosity here.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Nameless - Yes, I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have met John and the boys. Which would clearly have been a tragedy.

Question noted.

REReader said...

I think it was Maimonides (I should look it up) who said that a miracle is an ordinary thing that happens at just the right moment.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ha, wouldn't put anything in my life quite at 'miracle' level. But yeah, a lot of happy coincidences.

Anon Without A Name said...

I just realised the way I asked that question sounded a bit flippant or like I wasn't treating it seriously; that wasn't my intent, sorry.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

No, I didn't think you were being flippant!

I was just thinking about things.

Obviously none of the reasons have ever been too serious, because I'm still there, wearing a hole in the Yard's carpet every day.

Small Hobbit said...

Sherlock is quite right to insist you call it the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, since Big Ben is the name of the bell.

And I too am really glad you found/got found by a job that means so much to you.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

SH - I agree in some ways, but if I'd have said that was Big Ben, everyone would know what I meant. The whole Palace of Westminster thing - most people don't even know it's called that! Most people just call it the House(s) of parliament. So I was going for the informal. But even a sick Sherlock doesn't allow such things.

Anon Without A Name said...

Heh - it wasn't your reaction that made me think I'd said it wrong, it was thinking back to what I wrote afterwards. I hadn't seen your reply until I'd already come back here to apologise...

*ahem*

Sooooo... you're a wolf-picker. Is that some kind of Polari slang or a weird euphemism? :-p

REReader said...

Ha, wouldn't put anything in my life quite at 'miracle' level.

Doesn't matter what you call it, what matters is it all fell out right. :)


(Once I thought about it I remembered reading that it's the bell that's Big Ben and not the tower--but I don't think I'd have remembered it otherwise.)

John H. D. Watson said...

I know what's good for me - I picked frogs.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Hah! I don't think it's any slang I know of...

RR - Big Ben is indeed the nickname of the Great Bell - a 13.5 ton bell in the tower.

Would have wanted to haul that all the way up the clock tower!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Frog picker, huh, Danger?

Want to drag me to bed before I croak?

REReader said...

a 13.5 ton bell

Do Not Drop.

Seriously.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

It took them 18 hours to drag it up there, apparently... 61 metres. In 1859. Nowadays you'd get a nice crane and it'd be up there in 5 minutes.

John H. D. Watson said...

Want to drag me to bed before I croak?

Yes indeed.

REReader said...

It took them 18 hours to drag it up there, apparently... 61 metres. In 1859.

It makes my back hurt just to think about it.

Have a quiet night!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Cheers. Not sure how likely we are to get a Sherlock in with us. He does seem a lot better, but still a bit out of sorts.

Of course, I may just sleep through a small nuclear war right now, let alone a Sharp-elbowed 6yr old.

mazarin221b said...

Sherlock - I wanted to let you know I took my son to the Childrens Museum near our house yesterday, and they had an exhibit about Egyptian tombs. I took a picture of the real, original brain-hook and canopic jars just for you. I'll post a link when I get them online. Feel better soon, ok? Try to get as much sleep as you can.

L-sometimes its the things we find unexpectedly, when we're not looking for them, that turn out to have the most value. Wouldn't you say? :) I know how you feel - I found my career path by accident, too, and now I can't imgine doing anything else.

Desert Wanderer said...

One of the things I'm most thankful in my life are the random people who took an interest in me, even when they didn't have to. My life is better for them, especially when life moved in unexpected ways. Sounds like you've had a couple of those in your life, too.

It's interesting how many people in civil service jobs (military, police, fire dept, etc.) are there because they were getting out of a bad situation. Quite a surprising number, and VERY high-ranking officials, too. I'm glad you got out of such a bad time, and into something to which you are clearly suited and an asset.

Thank you for answering my question. :)

REReader said...

Oh, hey--it's 5:00am in the UK and no posts from the early hours! I hope that means everyone was able to sleep through the night.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I think we were all exhausted!

REReader said...

Less so now, I hope?

And is Sherlock feeling better thus morning--or is he still asleep?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

A bit less.

He's still asleep, which is probably good.

REReader said...

Yes, very good I'd think. I wish you could've slept in a bitter too...

REReader said...

Bit, not bitter. (It's 12:30 am here, I can't be held responsible!)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Me too, now!

His temperature seems to have gone down. We'll see if Danger thinks he's okay for school.

Desert Wandereer said...

Is the "me too, now" saying you wish you could have slept in a bitter? Sounds a bit...yeasty and wet to me!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

DW - you're right. Bt imagine sleeping on top of a nice Guinness, supported in a bed of foam...blissful. (requiring some form of waterproofing, I admit).

I could just fall asleep right here, face down on my laptop...

Desert Wanderer said...

Only if the Guiness was poured properly. Find someone who doesn't know what they're doing and there won't be enough head.

Do it. Don't think about the possible blackmail pictures that.might ensue from your team. Are you paying attention, Sally? ;)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Well there's no point in it if it isn't poured right! Although I've never had too much trouble getting a decent pint in London.

Blackmail pictures...formal reprimands...i'd rather stay employed, on balance.

Desert Wanderer said...

Fair enough. :). I'm sure the citizens of London prefer you stay employed as well. After all, a man in your position incurs certain expenses. Flowers for dates, nitrogen ice cream, and cashmere jumpers don't pay for themselves, dontcha know.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ha, indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving to any of you who celebrate. Happy Thursday to any who don't.

Desert Wanderer said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Cook something decadent for dinner and you can celebrate from afar.

Small Hobbit said...

Happy Thanksgiving DW and all those across the pond.

Happy Thursday Lestrade and everyone else who's wishing they were still in bed and not having to go to work today.

Anon Without A Name said...

What SH said. Happy Whatever Thursday to everyone.

(I'm personally wishing I was asleep on a pint of Guinness, but that's Lestrade's fault)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Not my fault. Somehow, some way, somewhere it's Danger's fault. Because everything is. ;)

DW - may not even cook tonight. Might be take away. Depends how Sherlock's feeling. And Danger.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

(weve just had a great result! Without even leaving the office. There's a massive operation on today called Operation Hawk to work with locals on crime in their area. It's huge. Doors in all over the city, loads of arrests expected. A triumph of intelligence led policing. And they've just arrested someone we've had warrants out for for months. So once they're finished with him, we'll get our go. I'm told you can follw the progress made over the day on Twitter. There's an 'OpHawk' tag or something. You'll all know what that means far better than I do, I suspect...)

Desert Wanderer said...

Fantastic, Lestrade! You guys were due a break or ten.

A triumph of intelligence led policing

Practicing for press conferences? That's a great description/tag.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Hah, I hope no one who can order me to do a press conf reads it then. I hate them.

REReader said...

Woo hoo for your well-deserved triumph! And happy Thanksgiving/Thursday, everyone!

In a little minute I'm going to get up and turn on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV and give thanks I'm not standing out there in the cold and wet staring up at the bellies of those balloons. :)

And I'm glad Shetlock's feeling better, if not quite at 100% this morning...

REReader said...

(I take back the wet part. According to my weather app, it's actually sunny out. Just cold, then. :))

Bronwyn said...

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Bronwyn

Anon Without A Name said...

Wow, that's a great result! I checked twitter (the hashtag is #ophawk), it's clkearly been a huge event. A tweet from @metpoliceuk sums it up, I think: Today we conducted 580 operations searched 264 premises arrested 278 suspects seized 39 weapons & closed down 14 drugs houses under #ophawk

Blimey :-)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

It's been a great success, yes. I hope all the Big Wing ops will be - the last one was, too. And I'm very happy that we benefited even though we had nothing to do with it. Any rapist (alleged) off the street is an excellent result.

REReader said...

Most excellent!

Desert Wanderer said...

Not a good day to be a criminal (alleged) in London, apparently. Kudos all around!

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