Pandora’s Box

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.

can-of-worms-vector-id180621048For 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.



A couple of weeks ago, I was  caught in two really heavy downpours of rain.  The first time I was sodden.  When I got home I had to strip off  all my clothes and dry myself. I put on fresh and dry clothes.  I felt so much better.

The day improved, it became drier and sunnier and I decided to go out again, this time to buy groceries.  I was leaving  the grocery store when unexpectedly the heavens turned on the torrential taps.  I used the carrier bag trick I had resorted to before.  You  roll the opening back until it looks like it will sit on your head like a rain hat, admittedly, a bit of a large and unusual one.  A few people grinned, others looked and a lot of people stared, fixed stares.  I smiled. At least I had a jacket on and with my improvised head cover,  my hair stayed dry.

in-china-can-produce-yellow-PVC-plastic.jpg_200x200Hubby roared with laughter when he saw me coming from the car with the shopping wearing my ‘designer’ plastic bag head gear,  which just happened to be a capacious Lidl’s plastic carrier bag advertising me in large lettering as……  “ONE OF LIDL’S SURPRISES”     ❗



I have to admit it can be enormous fun overhearing conversations. Believe me though, I do not make a point of ear-wigging, but, as we all know, there are times when it is just impossible not to hear.

I was in a local pharmacy. There were good displays of decorative nick-knacks, cosmetics stands, perfumery, hair products and all the sundry first-aid items you would expect. Near the service counter there were two or three baskets with reduced stock, (close to date) just right for pocket-money birthday gift buying for granny. Mum was doing grown-up shopping while her two youngsters were making their selections. After lots of exploration and excited chatter they showed mum their choices.

G-l-y-c-e-r-i-n-e, and …. what’s that mum?

She peered at the label and read the rest of it.

What does it do?

It hydrates the skin, said mum.

Oh….. ?

It will make granny’s skin big, mum said.

Just like mumps!


A few months ago I stopped to chat in  town with a neighbour. Our houses are only over the road from each other, but hey! The shopping street seems to be the place to meet and chat. We chewed the cud over many things, including how much fun it was to look after her very young grandson a couple of days a week. Though a young grandmother, it was why she had decided to retire.

We got to talking about a news item about a woman  being treated for cancer so as to live, not be treated to die. My neighbour’s very firm and candid view was that there was no difference between the two, they both meant the same in the end. Something in the tone of her voice and the expression on her face decided a change of subject.

We heard this morning that our neighbour had died. We were told it was cancer. We did not know.




We’ve got a gift hubby said. We don ‘t get post on a Sunday nor any other kind of package or parcel deliveries. They arrive only on weekdays.

So I said………Ooh, have we, where is it?

It’s in the garden, said hubby.

Where, I asked?

By the fence, look……

Right enough, almost camouflaged with all the greenery, was a small bunch of carrots, freshly picked by the farmer, our neighbour. She has a good throwing technique, over a 6 feet chain link fence where the carrots, untied, made a soft landing and all together.



Mulling over the future prospects of the children the conversation went as follows:

Mum: Pippa, my eldest…she’s 15…. she’s very average; she’s doing alright, but she’s average. She gave up the idea of becoming a pharmacist when she found she did not like chemistry and when someone said pharmacy could be a matter of life and death. Pippa said she couldn’t be responsible for that! She’s ever so good with children though. Maybe she’ll think about nursing, though I think in nursing there are a lot more life and death decisions.

My youngest, she’s different to her sister, she is okay and is really good with numbers. I think she should become an Accurist.

Instructions for keeping well, which should be read and understood before using snipe nosed pliers.




When you really want something you know you have stored somewhere, that’s when you can never find it. So it was today, I hunted high and low for a canvas bag I wanted to use. Anyone within earshot of me would have heard me muttering all sorts of unrepeatable phrases. There probably was also a steady head of steam around me instead of my usual equable aura. I peered in places I knew the bag was unlikely to be, I pulled out stuff that had been shoved, er, fitted, into tight spaces. Could I fit them back; NO. They were forced back and the door was quickly shut.

Time for a break; just then hubby returned home. He made helpful suggestions of places I had already looked and one or two I had avoided. A few packages fell out on top of me as they do when you’re ploughing through a pile of ??? years’ collection.


One more look in the cupboards, I decided, then I was going to give up. Yeah okay, you’re already there. I found the bag. It was lying neatly under a h a t. (I’m not even going to go there. The bag was found and there’s an end to it).


One of the local charity shops is going to benefit from some of the howking out of long forgotten bits and pieces that I thought might come in useful one day. The haul includes a couple of carrier bags of wadding, created from reducing over-stuffed pillows, good for quilting and other craft work. Another stored bag contained weird shapes of fine wool fabric in two colours, together with flattened pieces of brown paper. Many memories flooded into my mind when I remembered what it was all ‘attached’ to. It made me a little wistful. Someone might get some use out of a dressmaker’s brown paper pattern and the left-over material of the garment that was made, which has long gone.


This week found me doing jobs that I had never thought, ever, to do. I’m not sure how it came about, some things are like that, they just happen.

Years ago, (different years) I received gifts of boxes of chocolates. These boxes had different designs and finishes, they were also made with three drawers for the various selections. One had handles with which to open the drawers and the other had small tassels, which sadly, have become a bit threadbare through use. I used these two boxes for storing needlework essentials and various kinds of makings. Whenever and wherever I moved these two boxes set up home with me. A new reel of thread, packs of needles, pins, safety pins of all sizes, scissors, many types of buttons, all found their way into these small but seemingly capacious little drawers!

Back to where I started: hunting about in drawer number one, did not produce what I wanted. I pulled out everything, I inspected all the little packages and discovered long forgotten things,

I opened drawer two, still no luck. I did retrieve a gold coloured metal powder compact in very good condition and a plastic 45rpm centre-piece for the circular hole that facilitated placing the record on the deck spindle. I can only assume that some countries had 5cm record deck spindles, which is why I must have bought the ‘filler’.

After another rummage, drawer three yielded more success. I had also added to a pile of bits and pieces that had to be sorted and tidily replaced between the three drawers.

My ‘What shall I do with these?’ haul at the end of the process, was, one powder compact, one record centre-hole filler and in a twice folded envelope, in which, were a number of fossilised sharks’ teeth…

I have yet to take the notion to start on the second box with three drawers stuffed with who knows what, apart from needles and thread. Perhaps that will happen, just like it did with the first three drawer box.



At the risk of being boring, here is a post script to my last post on the cost of goodwill mail.

I had absolutely no idea that there were measurement gauges for all parcels, that is those parcels that do not look like packages; when did that happen? I was under the misguided impression, parcels were still charged by weight. I was surprised to see a shoe box size parcel placed into a box before a charge was imposed for it. You haven’t seen the half of it….said the post mistress, when I expressed my surprise. This is the second one we have had this year. The ‘new’ gauge is the same width and depth as the previous gauge but is 10cm SHORTER (A whole four inches in old measurements, shorter!!!) >:XX

There is likely to be a backlash with all these ruses for raising prices,I said.

It’s already happened. My small business customers now use couriers. They can get a straight £4 charge for each of their regular parcels. She continued… I don’t see them much now; I can’t ask them how good the courier services are.