I posted that last one in the morning, and by late afternoon I was feeling a bit better. A friend had asked me to go to the pictures with her, and I was looking forward to that. I needed a change of scene.
So at half-past eight I finished getting ready, and left the house, pausing only to collect my engagement ring from the shelf next to the sink, where I'd put it after taking it off to do the dishes.
I tend to assume that I'm running late, so I ran down the lane from our house and belted towards the bus stop. Halfway there, I suddenly realised my ring was no longer on my finger.
Now this ring is probably my single most valuable possession. Not just because it was expensive, but because of what it stands for. Probably once I had a wedding ring I wouldn't wear it every day, but at the moment I do. I have noticed that it fits a little more loosely on my finger than it did when we bought it, especially when my hands are cold - perhaps I've lost weight in my hands... But I hadn't thought the ring was loose enough to fall off.
I retraced my steps (I was still within about 100 yards of my house) and scanned the ground, as you do. I couldn't see it. By the time I reached the top of the lane, I was beginning to panic somewhat, so I went back in and told my parents what had happened.
"It's on the shelf in the kitchen," Mum said, causing my heart to leap and then subside again. Of course, it was, until two minutes previously when I put it on.
In the three hours that followed, I wished a hundred times that I could rewind that two minutes. I called my friend to tell her I wasn't coming, and combed the ground with my parents and my brother. These are noble and good people, I tell you. I went back to the house and made absolutely sure that the ring hadn't dropped into my handbag, got into my pocket somehow, or caught on my clothing or hair (things do sometimes wind up there. It's long hair). Then we all studied the pavement and the roadway in depth, my brother using a torch to catch any reflections. We went over the gravel in our drive. We raked painstakingly through all the leaf litter in the lane. Neighbours saw what we were doing and came to help. Dad and my brother swept all the litter into bags to sort through later! We kept doing this until it got dark. No ring.
On Friday, Mum hired a metal detector and we went over the whole area again, including the hedge. I tell you, running a detector over the entire surface of an eight-foot-high privet hedge gives your biceps a good workout. But we didn't find it. I embarked on a thorough tidy of my bedroom, just in case it had dropped off in there somewhere, although I really don't think so. That has taken me most of the weekend (yes, I know it shouldn't take me that long to tidy one room). Still no ring.
This evening, I'm going to go through the bags of leaf-litter with the detector, and then... I don't know what to do. I've reported the loss to the police in case anyone hands it in. It is insured, but that's not really the point, is it? I just want it back so badly. I couldn't write a blog entry about it until now, I felt so sick about it. I have calmed down now, although frankly I have stopped expecting ever to find it. My workmates are trying to cheer me up by telling me stories of rings lost and found again, and it's also true that Mum lost her engagement ring, years ago, and found it days later in the street. So it is possible. But it seems unlikely.
I know that it's not the most admirable or sensible thing to get so attached to material possessions. As my mum says, it is only a bit of metal and stone. But I just feel so stupid - because I knew it was loose and didn't do anything about it, because I'd only just put it on, because it MUST be near somewhere if we could only find it. I hardly think there was time for a passerby to pick it up. And it's not just any old ring, it's my engagement ring. Nine months ago, it felt very odd to have a ring on that hand. Now my finger feels naked and I keep putting my thumb on my ring finger out of habit, checking the ring is securely on - only to find nothing there.
In a way, too, I feel as though I was warned this would happen because of the dream I had about breaking the ring. I know that's stupid, that it's a complete coincidence. I'm not the superstitious type, and I certainly don't believe that your dreams predict the future. But if you'd dreamt about losing something and then really lost it, you might feel a bit weird about it.
On the bright side, however, I have not had occasion to punch David Tennant. Nor do I want to. But I think it's just as well that he'll be busy getting ready to film the new series of Doctor Who and therefore not likely to cross my path.
If you should find a gold ring with an oval, pale blue sapphire surrounded by little diamonds, you might let me know...