IT’S very treacherous out there. The world in general is a hostile place at the moment and now even the very ground beneath our feet is out to get us. 

Freezing temperatures combined with smatterings of snow and some light rain have created some of the most slippery surfaces known to humanity. 

You should see me heading out with the dug in the morning, bleary eyed and barely awake. He dances across the ice while I tread carefully. Waddling like a penguin. 

The other morning I somehow managed to fall three times without hitting the ground, just slipping and sliding in place instead, trying my best not to hit the deck. Legs all over the place, arms flailing. Running on the spot like a cartoon character. I don’t think anyone saw me. Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway. 

Despite how slippy it is outside, I’m feeling a bit of an urge to go out for a run. Something I’ve only done maybe once before in my life. I think it’s a combination of the bright and cold. The crisp air going into your lungs while you pelt along the road at full speed is, I imagine, a smashing feeling. I’ve also heard of the so-called “Runner’s High” a feeling you get after running for a while when your brain just floods itself with serotonin and all the other feel-good chemicals. That all sounds lovely, but the thing that’s really stopping me from going a run is the simple fact that I just get absolutely mortified at the thought of other people seeing me do anything. 

Glasgow Times: World Penguin Day at Birdland

When I passed my driving test, for example, and got my first motor, I let it sit almost empty of fuel for ages because I was deathly afraid that I’d somehow manage to make a mess of putting petrol in it. Once at a petrol station, I saw a guy having an absolute nightmare at the pump. He couldn’t make the nozzle stretch over the motor to where his fuel cap was. An announcement came over the tannoy and the woman in the garage shouted at him.

Every other person filing up their cars and even their passengers turned to stare at him. I felt very sad for him and the second-hand embarrassment I felt almost overwhelmed me. I even had a riddy for him. I was scared that would be me. “You wi the hair,” I imagined a loud booming voice would say as I wrestled with the hose. “That’s yer exhaust pipe.” I ended up looking for videos of how to fill up your car online and practiced so that when the time came I would look as if I knew what I was doing. 

Then there was the time last summer when I had to use a public toilet while out and about with my girlfriend. As I washed my hands and looked around for the hand-dryer, I discovered to my horror that it was right next to the open door and my girlfriend would be able to see me drying my hands. An inconsequential thing, you’re probably thinking.

Everybody has to dry their hands after washing them, why does it matter if anyone seen you? I stood at the dryer as she watched me, smiling. “My god,” I thought. “She’s going to dump me after this.” I waved my wet hands under the incredibly weak flow of air for what felt like an eternity. ‘I must look an absolute state,’ I thought as my hand movements became ever more frantic. I rubbed them together and thought that, in that very moment, I probably had never looked more like a dastardly villain hatching a heinous plan. When I got out the toilet, riddied out of my nut, I was amazed to discover that my girlfriend didn’t think anything of it. 

And that’s the thing with being like this, thinking that everyone in the world is waiting for you to do something daft so they can laugh at the state of you; nobody actually cares. It was a very freeing realisation. 

Glasgow Times:

When have you ever looked at someone in public and laughed at them? Very few times, if ever, if you’re the kind of legend who likes to read this column, I imagine. Everyone’s too wrapped up with their own insecurities or just busy going about their day to care about other people doing something daft. Armed with this new knowledge, I feel fine about the idea of going for a run now. If I fall, who cares? If I run in a weird way, who cares? Being mega self-conscious at all times only holds you back. It stops you from doing the things you want to. 

It maybe stems from being at school where any action you performed could and would be used against you. But we’re not at school anymore, so chill out and just do whatever you want. In the nicest possible way, nobody cares.