I’m trying to have a lean month – cutting out the sweet treats that got out of hand over Christmas, bike rides outside in the glorious weather, even jumping on the kids’ trampoline.
But it’s not that easy, is it? My downfall, as always, is when goodies get brought into work. Today, it was someone’s birthday, and the most delicious cup cakes started doing the rounds – moist, melt-in-your-mouth little pieces of heaven, topped with frosting so delicious it actually glistened. Well, it would have been rude not to.
I then needed to go downstairs. I was waiting in the lobby for the elevator (we’re on the 25th floor), when I heard the noise.
The elevator’s alarm, going off on the floor above.
We hear the sound a lot because there are only two elevators that go to the top of our tower, and they’re always overcrowded. Think a vertical Northern Line; office workers crammed in like sardines, all armpits and perfume. The very top floor of our building belongs to a Chinese company, and I swear they’re running a technology sweat shop up there, with hundreds of staff bussed in from Satwa every day.
The elevator stops at my floor, and the doors slide open. Now, I know someone missed the ride upstairs because I heard the alarm, signalling it was overloaded, but the 10 or so people jammed inside the lift start shuffling backwards to make room, for me.
Ten faces stare at me, their gazes boring into mine. Eyes torn from the Elevision TV screen in the top corner of the lift, attention ripped away from their smart phones, which they hold in their hands like compasses. Their faces look expectant, their mouths twitching. They’re all watching to see if I set the alarm off.
No, I think. I’ll wait for the next lift.
But they’re a friendly (lightly built, Asian) lot and beckon me in. They shoot me a come hither look, and I step in, gingerly. Breathing out. Treading so carefully it’s like the floor’s made of eggshells. I withhold my breath a little longer than is comfortable, bracing myself for the over-load buzzer and my undignified exit, in front of all 10 of them. Should I jettison my handbag? Standing on the scales at home is nothing in comparison to this.
Then the moment’s over. The doors swish shut, and the elevator descends.
I’ve got away with it – until the next round of cupcakes!