I meant to unplug my charged up e-tablet and ended up instead, opening up Pandora’s Box. Don’t ask me why, I can’t tell you. I opened a file drawer. It’s one I have used for nondescript and personal ‘stuff ‘. Mind you, I have been known to create a folder or two there, just because it wasn’t over-stuffed like the actual filing cabinet we both use.
For a couple of hours I was absorbed in reviving memories, (a lot of them not good ones) and slimming down the contents of folders. When I had finished with the first folder, my hand crept to the next one. A can of worms had lain there too. This one was approximately a sixteen years old triple sandwich, with a
mildew mild top filling, fizzing chili in the middle, mercifully, followed by a layer of cooling cucumber.
It is hard
curating sorting out your own ‘stuff’, your own interconnected paper trail of life. I found I was not able to be totally objective. Even after many years, emotions can and do ripple. I wonder if I had planned to do this job, I might have felt any different.
A shredded bucket of my life later, my pack of plastic pockets has swelled with a great many Woolworth’s ones that I freed up. (That’s a store long gone). They seem to be a better quality plastic pocket than those they share the packet with.
From inside the outside looked bright, cheery and tempting. So, we, that’s hubs and me, invited ourselves out for a coffee this afternoon. There was a noticeable icy breeze, truly icy. It wasn’t too bad once we’d got used to the feel of it. I was glad of the thick jeans I was wearing, (these days, jeans seem to be made with much thinner denim cloth). Together with my hip length padded jacket and a big scarf wrapped round my collar it all worked a treat. Hubs was well wrapped up too.
Crossing a bridge, I saw a tight ‘ruck’ of Snowdrops, the first I had seen this year. They bank onto a river. In another week or so, the whole bank should be carpeted with them.
We arrived at our destination and found our favourite seating area was free and only one person, the manageress, was at a table. It was an oasis of calm. A lot of people favour the same seating area, and it can be teeming with bodies from whom emanates a very high volume cacophony of sound. A group of teachers is one of the noisiest. Next are parents who allow their little offspring with their metal toys -small cars mostly-to bang them on the glass table tops. The kids love it. This is an efficient way to clear the nook of other customers!
On the way home we wandered up to a farm and bought some fresh eggs, chatted to the shepherdess, who also runs the egg enterprise and does lots of other things in the modern diversified life of farming.
A plop of icy sleet startled me, followed by a few more plops. Then I noticed an unexpected clump of bright yellow in the shelter of closely planted leafless bushes. Crocuses were about to bloom. Is spring around the corner?
I’ve got four birthdays to think about, all of them are this week. It feels like Christmas has prematurely come round again, before I have had time to properly recover from it. I like to give two or three small packages to the children, so they have fun going through the present bag. Adults are simpler, more often than not, one piece of gift wrap for them covers all.
Ho hum….here I am again, only eight weeks after the last festive blast cutting up gift paper, wrapping up presents and raking through the cupboard for some bags to put them in.
Brown or white paper bags can be quite good as gift bags, those you sometimes get in food shops with paper handles – they look like ears have been attached – making sure, mind you, that there are no tell-tale signs of their original use. The trouble is, it’s too early in the year to have any. My alternative would be a plain bio-degradable plastic carrier bag, if I have one. These days, getting a carrier bag of any sort, let alone one that I can use as a gift bag, is rare.
Like lots of people I recycle the festive gift bags I have received at Christmas time. Really, I can’t see any reason why I shouldn’t use them at anytime, even if they are glittery tree, Reindeer, snow-flake, bauble and star adorned festive gift bags. After all, they are bags; if it looks like a bag and acts like a bag, then it must be a bag……………………I cannot think of any good reason why I shouldn’t use them for all sorts of occasions, can you?
There are still the remains of sales in some local shops. I am looking for something in particular and I was in the one shop that might just have provided it. I browsed the department upstairs where you find cushions, bedding, curtains and some menswear. So far no luck, I could not see what I wanted. All the staff work downstairs, which is where I found a shop assistant. While I was asking, it occurred to me that she might not understand what I was looking for:
Me –“I am looking for a counterpane, do you have any?” Assistant- “ Could you tell me what that might be?”
It seemed I was speaking a foreign language. I explain it is a bed-cover….she continues to look vacantly at me….. I’m thinking quickly about what might be the current trendy modern bed-cover translation and I tentatively suggest “A throw”.
Some comprehension dawns. The assistant tells me there are no throws……“Throws are for Christmas” ❗
With all that’s been going on, and very publicly, here and abroad, I have been at a loss to know what to think. If I feel disempowered, how on earth must millions of other people feel.
Those that can, have grouped up and made their feelings known in public places around the world, often at personal cost to themselves. The amount of courage and positive human energy there is to care, is truly amazing.
I am not qualified to speak of what the security services at all levels do, or, what they do not do. Like most people, I only know what morsels are given for public consumption. I am extraordinarily grateful to have been able to live a life that has been mostly safe and away from major conflicts. There are so many who cannot say this. Every day we hear heart-rending stories, many of which are streamed into our visual consciousness to our homes. It does make us face the reality of the suffering that has been and is being endured.
With the current ruptures, of a type generally unknown to many of us in our lifetimes, our own comfort blankets are disappearing at speed. The peace in Europe of the last seventy plus years is politically in the balance and it is also affected by major influences from other continents. There is a serious ramping up of aggressive rhetoric. Where will it all lead?
All the capable men waiting to be discharged from the day operation unit were asked if their wives or someone would help them to administer their post-operative medications. Anyone with previous experience, however long ago, was given cursory advice, and was asked if wives would help. One man who already had experience of his procedure, but some time ago, asked to have an update of what was needed.
A relative of a woman with dementia was given instructions to pass onto carers.
Not one compos mentis woman was asked if she had anyone at home to help her. Obviously, the expectation of the relatively young female nurses was that women could just get on with it!
I decided to buy a subscription to an e-card site. ‘Subscription’, does, in this case, mean I pay for the service; it is advert-free. (I do receive the occasional ‘free’ e-card from people, usually, they are totally obscured by pop-up and flash advertising. They can put you off e-cards).
I have access to a big selection of imaginative e-cards for more occasions than you can dream up, and there are note-cards as well. Like in a card shop, you can assess the product before you [buy] send. I can also choose what date I want it to arrive.
It has been intriguing seeing what does not work and what does work for e-card recipients;
- A very, very small number say the e-cards are ‘naff’…fine, they have a choice not to open the card.
- Some people don’t give their email addresses, so I couldn’t send them an e- card anyway.
- Wistful responses for the tangible written card were quite common.
- Rare, but I have been asked not to send e-cards.
- A few contacts don’t have their computer systems configured to open e-card mail. However, they are notified they have been sent an e-card and from whom. People let me know their position, usually with thanks for the thought.
- To the majority of my mailed e-cards there was a very positive response.
After depositing a present for a child in a Gift Bank, I was presented with a net bag full of milk chocolate money coins.
The first nursery kid I saw on the street got them. I did ask the [
taken aback] surprised, parents first.
“Oh goody chocolate”, said the kid as soon as he saw the bag, which he rapidly reached forward to snatch, iniating an embarrassed parental chorus of, “ Say please and say thank you”. Neither nicety materialised from delighted single-minded junior.
…….”It’s Christmas.” I said, and went on my way.
I couldn’t resist looking back. The grown-ups had happy smiles on their faces.
EeeeEk…urrgh….EeeEK; then the mattress rolls like it was pushing through a strong sea undercurrent.
At the time we purchased our bed frame, the salesman described it as having individualised left and right sides because of the the ‘unique’ separated wooden support slats design. Two single mattresses were not required. It was explained that it would give a calm night’s rest, even if one partner was restless. The bed frame was delivered and constructed by the company. We were given instructions about allowing the slats to settle under our new mattress. All that was about four years ago. On the whole, the bed behaved much as advised.
For the last few weeks there has been a build up in throaty wood and screechy wood -on -wood noises, together with a chorus of crunchy cranky noises every time one of us moves, which wake me up from a half sleep when I am trying to get to sleep. They are noises that also wake me up prematurely. Hubs was not bothered at all. Did I dare move? No I did not. The final straw came when hubby turned in his sleep and I was rolled to the edge of the mattress, like I was in a boat being tossed on the sea. It was time me and hubs had a chat about this.
“What do you want me to do?” …..”We could check the frame” I ventured.
“What about the mattress?“…..”We could slide it off the bed frame and put it on end“, I said
Some of the nuts on these bed fastenings are weird and wonderful sizes. With more encouragement and me demonstrating the slackness of the frame. Hubby went off to find his set of magic spanners; the fifth or sixth one he tried worked.
Four tightened corners later, we tested out the placement of the wooden mattress support slats, both manually and by directly lying down on them………. EeeeEk…urrgh….EeeEK. Oh no! We looked at each other, a big dose of inspiration was needed. The intervention of an emergency white candle, (for if there’s a power failure) was called for.
Rubbing some white candle wax on the wooden bed frame and the wooden slats seems to have satisfied the needs of the wood. In addition, the bed frame was no longer slack, we had one happy bed and I had a more restful night’s sleep…Yay!
The woman in the red coat adorned with bright LED fairy lights, looked at the bakery goods displayed in the glass covered counter in front of her, every -so- often checking her mobile phone. Like her, I waited too. We continued to wait…and wait. LED lady looked up at me and we exchanged smiles. Two other women, dressed up for the local fun day, were serving at the far end of the counter, which provided for the Baker shop café customers. At our end of the counter- sales – a young girl dressed up as Alice In Wonderland,(AIW) had her back to us; she studiously ignored everyone. The high visibility lady covered with sparkly LED lights glanced at her phone once more and then left the shop. Alice in Wonderland looked round, glanced at me, then turned back to whatever it was she was doing, writing, I think.
I conjected that if I waited a few more moments I just might be served. I knew what I wanted to buy, it was pre-wrapped, so, it was just a question of selling it to me. I thought my patience was being rewarded when a clown-ess, (one of the duo of staff attending to the café) bouncily arrived opposite me……. My mistake, she was involved in playing a game of choices for someone in the café, who, incidentally, arrived in the shop the same time as I did.
“Excuse me, can the assistant over there serve me?“ I pointedly asked. Clown-ess raised herself on tip-toes to peer over AIW’s shoulder.
Clown-ess -said, “She’s busy doing shop admin”. With that she rushed away and with a smile called out “Someone will be with you soon”.
Me – Looking directly at Clown-ess at the far end………“I’m going; that’s two customers you have just lost”. And I went.
This is not the first time me and other customers have walked from this shop. There are two other similar business in the same vicinity that have gained from the chaotic customer service. Goodwill is fading fast.