An Interesting Day

It’s been an interesting day. I suppose the title gave that away. I, of course, use the word “interesting” in the same way that a prostate exam is an interesting procedure – it grabs your attention and you suffer from flashbacks.

Just after midnight I trawled the internet looking for a supermarket with a delivery or collection slot. Number One Son had told me to try this time as they release the slots just after midnight.

There were no TESCO delivery slots in the next three weeks, so I tried Click & Collect. There was just one slot in the next three weeks – next Wednesday. What I didn’t realise when I started was that I was going to struggle quite so badly with the website (which seems very badly designed) and the speed of my ancient netbook. This meant it took me two hours to place an approximate order. I had to call it a day before getting everything right as you only have a limited time to secure the time slot.

This meant I didn’t get to bed until after 3.00, and had to get up at 8.00. I was in the queue at TESCO just before 9.00 and complaining by 9.02. It seems that there was no queue last Wednesday, but today the queue stretched around 100 yards and, despite being a slot dedicated to “the elderly” was dotted with people who were clearly in their 30s and 40s.

It also went past the door of a pharmacy and people were going in as we queued, sometimes without bothering about social distancing.

Eventually they allowed the line to move and we all went in. They seemed to have been keeping us back so they could let us go in one lot. Not sure why this is seen as better than letting us go as space became available in the shop but I’m sure that TESCO know what they are doing. (That’s an example of sarcasm, for those of you who don’t know TESCO). Β The security guards asked a few people to step out of the line until “the elderly” were all in. It seems that the queue was for people of 65 and over. I was rather upset when they let me in, to be honest, do I really look over 65? I’m only 61!

It was quite easy shopping, despite a few people who can’t follow a simple arrow system or work out what six foot looks like (or two metres for you young ‘uns). It’s quite un-nerving to turn round and find someone lurking a foot away, particularly if that person is a member of staff, who definitely should know better. Yes, the staff picking internet orders from the shelves were the worst offenders.

I’m so incensed by that that I nearly used an exclamation mark. That would be two more than I normally use, and one more than I’m prepared to let by. Surprise, or indignation, is all very well, but I always feel moderation in punctuation is the way to go. Otherwise you start to look like you are writing sale placards for a shop.

It took just over an hour to buy too much food, and find that they didn’t have paracetamol or flour in stock. Again. They did have courgettes (though not many) and cauliflowers, which they didn’t have online when I tried in the early hours. On the down side, I had to have smooth peanut butter instead of crunchy and there was no decent marmalade. More for my list of First World Problems.

It was a bit annoying because I had to unload the trolley from the end of the belt. I prefer to be more organised than that – working from the middle and organising things as I go. It wasn’t even necessary – there was plenty of room for me to have moved along without getting too close to anyone. However, I suppose staff are happier if they feel in charge of their situation.

Some blossom is showing

Some blossom is showing

Looking on the really bright side – it must be annoying to still be working when the erst of us are on “holiday”.

By that time my left foot was throbbing quite badly. My feet have swollen a bit recently, with so much sitting. This means that my foot overlaps the edge of the moulded sole. After half an hour the edge starts to resemble a knife blade, rather than a shoe.

By 10.30, as I limped back to the car, I just wanted to go home to sit down and drink tea.

It was 19 degrees Centigrade (66 F) by this time, which was pleasant, but a bit warm for a man who had dressed for a cooler day. I was becoming dehydrated, as I hadn’t had a drink before leaving home. My theory is that if I don’t have a drink, I won’t need to find a toilet while I’m out. The thought of tea and a nice sit-down became more appealing as I thought about it…

So, you ask, did you give up, you appalling snowflake?

No, I didn’t. I thought of Henry V, I thought of the Thin Red LineΒ (the real one, not the film)Β and I wondered what would have happened if Captain Oates had been put off by a sore foot.

If they could do it, I decided, so could I. So I battled with the air pump to inflate my tyres, topped up with diesel and went to the pharmacy. I even snatched a few photos, though they are of merely documentary value, rather than being uplifting or artistic. It didn’t seem a particularly onerous set of tasks when put it in context. The pharmacy queue was not as long as last week. It was, in fact, about five minutes, which is better than normal in non-virus times. It would have been nice if they had got things right, but you can’t have everything.

Then I went home for a cup of tea and a sit-down.

The rest of the day passed with TV, blogging, phone calls and a refreshing nap. Well, two refreshing naps, to be honest, one to catch up and one that I would have had anyway. Julia cooked tea (roast gammon, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, sprouts, squash and Yorkshire puddings with gravy) and as I finish this off she is running on the spot in the hallway as part of her fitness routine.

I think this is the first time I have written a post over 1,000 words. It’s certainly the first I’ve posted one that length without splitting it up. Sorry about the verbosity, I suspect that blogging expands to fill the available time. Is anyone else experiencing this?




16 thoughts on “An Interesting Day

  1. Pingback: Lockdown Cookery | quercuscommunity

  2. tootlepedal

    How fortunate I am to have our corner shop within easy distance. It doesn’t have a great range of stock but the owner will often get specials in for me if I ask nicely. And he still runs a ‘book’ so like the Queen, I never pay for anything.

    I can’t get over how young you are. You are very wise for your age.

    You are quite right, blogging obeys Parkinson’s Law like everything else.

  3. Laurie Graves

    Gosh, what day! (Note the use of an exclamation mark.) I would say that the tea and sit down were very well deserved. Julia and I would make a good pair. She runs on the road to nowhere. I bike on the road to nowhere. πŸ˜‰

  4. charliecountryboy

    As you say an interesting day but probably one you could have done without πŸ˜‰ Hope the foot heals, what is it with flour? I mean the inbreeds don’t bake and I thought they were the ones stockpiling, oh well. Tea sounded scrummy, well done, Julia πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    1. quercuscommunity

      I was fortunate in that I could play the invalid card so Julia cooked. πŸ™‚

      I think a lot of flour is currently resting in cupboards while people look at it and wonder what to do with it. I used to buy 10 bags at a time when we were baking and running pizza classes. There used to be an endless supply. But I suppose they said that about the buffalo and the Passenger Pigeon.

      I am keeping my foot elevated today and Julia is keeping me supplied with tea. It is an ill wind that blows no good. πŸ™‚

      Hope you are all keeping fit and well.

  5. derrickjknight

    You expand beautifully to fill the available time. I really don’t envy you the queueing but we couldn’t suppress our laughter at your being allowed in. I was once asked “how many concessions?” when I was in my early 60s. Standing still and going at a slow pace must be the most painful aspects of queueing. Julia’s meal looks good.

    1. quercuscommunity

      It was an excellent meal.

      When Number Two Son played for the academy at Wakefield Trinity (and I was in my late 50s) the man on the gate used to charge me as a pensioner. I was outraged, but Β£2 is Β£2. πŸ™‚

  6. Lavinia Ross

    I am sorry about the swollen feet. That sounds painful. Shopping here is a bit of a surrealistic experience these days, although I am slowly becoming used to it. I am thankful I can still buy cat litter. πŸ™‚

    On the positive side of things,. I got all our potatoes, onions and garlic planted yesterday. I took an easy day today, and have a large pot of soup on the stove. We had a warm and sunny day here, almost 70s degrees. The new strawberry plants are doing nicely in their tent, too.


Leave a Reply