There is nothing like a chance encounter to remind you that some things in life cannot be controlled.
While camping away last weekend I was accosted by a very disorientated man in the ladies bathrooms very early on Sunday morning. He knocked on my door, and rambled on about why the door was locked. I pushed the door open to get out, encountering a cloud of fuzzy alcohol fumes and a glazed looking man. I sprinted out of the building, and ran the couple of meters back to my tent, which was in a community of tents, on a large strip of grassed land, lit by an orange globe light.
He must have followed me quite quickly afterwards as I recall seeing him a good few metres away when I turned to look. Unfortunately, he was now aware of which tent I was sleeping in.
I wasn’t scared when he “knocked” on my tent, saying hello, repeatedly, or even when he asked me, inanely, if I had drugs.
I would have stayed quiet, as my then slightly awake tent-mate had recommended, the only sounds coming from my praying lips, and from my rapidly beating heart.
I would have just sat there in silence and tried to will him away, if only he hadn’t have reached for the tent zipper.
I don’t think anyone at this point could argue that he wasn’t out of his mind perhaps on drugs or just incredibly drunk, but that still doesn’t give anyone any excuses to have acted in the way that he did.
I could have screamed, and stayed trembling in my tent, petrified at what could have happened next.
I could have let the men who slept in the tents beside us deal with him, while I stayed frozen in fear, a perfect picture of a woman who has no choice but to be vulnerable.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t have to jump out of my tent, and stare him full on in the face and start yelling for him to leave me alone.
But I wanted to.
I wanted him to know that there are some people out there who won’t be bullied into being feared.
There are woman out there with some sort of bravery, enough to make a stand for themselves, and act on a strength that is not their own.
I might be a weakened woman but I am not weak of mind, or will or Faith.
I hope one day that man realises the bad example he is setting.
A real man doesn’t harass a woman because he is “entitled to”, or because it seems like a bright idea at 2am in the morning.
A real man doesn’t rule by fear or intimidation.
A real man doesn’t disappear from his life into the bottom of a bottle or a crack pipe.
We have all encountered hell of some sorts.
Running away from that or blaming others for what has happened to you doesn’t make you a real man.
I hope you had a really bad hangover, you are very lucky that at that moment I didn’t have my cast iron frying pan in my hand…
Thank you to the real men who searched the area, and escorted some frightened ladies to the loos.
You are an example.
Chocolate fondant cakes with melting centres
(Delia Smith’s recipe – because no one knows chocolate like a woman)
100g dark chocolate
100g butter, cubed
1 Tbsp brandy
55g castor sugar
2 large eggs
7ml vanilla essence
30g cake flour
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Grease a tray of 4 large muffins.
In a medium sized bowl, slowly melt the butter and chocolate slowly together over a warm pot of water. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, the extra yolks and the sugar together until they have doubled in volume, this will take 5 to 10 minutes. They will become light and fluffy, and leave ribbons when you lift the beater.
Sift the flour into the egg mixture, and pour the warm chocolate mixture around the edges of the mixture. Using a large metal spoon, take your time to gently fold the mixtures together. Spoon into the muffin tin and cook for 10 to 11 minutes.
They cook quickly, and set on standing as well, so be careful not to overcook.
Very gently remove then from the muffin tin and serve with fresh cream, icecream or plain greek yoghurt.