This morning I went to collect cash from the ATM. At 8.30 there was already a queue, with two people in front of me and two behind me by the time I finished. Despite what the shops and banks keep telling us, people still want cash.
I was in the shop for 9.00 and, with a coffee on the desk, was answering queries from eBay users. In general, eBay users who ask questions fall into five categories. One is buyers who are reasonably intelligent and ask useful questions. These form about 10% of all enquiries. We didn’t have any of these this morning.
Some, possibly 5%, are enquiries about deliveries. We had one this morning, because the post has been erratic during lockdown. By the miracle of the internet I was able to put the tracking number into the Irish postal system and find that it has been sorted in Dublin and is out for delivery.
Another 10% make ridiculous low offers. We had a couple of these on Saturday but none this morning.
Another 10% ask questions that they could have answered themselves if they had read the description properly. We had one of these this morning.
That, as you have no doubt already calculated, leaves 65%. These are enquiries made by people who would at one time have found employment as village idiots. Thanks to the internet they are now able to extend their reach and disturb my morning from many miles away.
The rest of the day went quite smoothly, until I returned home. The gardeners had returned to finish the clearing, and had filled the skip, including a lot of roofing felt. You can’t put roofing felt into a skip these days, along with a lot of other things, so I had to set to and remove it all. This was tricky as it was in many pieces and much of it was still attached to parts of the shed roof. However, I am glad to report that my hands worked well, my back stood up to the strain and I managed to get all the felt out.
It was a minor victory. In fact, a few years ago it wouldn’t have counted as a victory at all, because I would have expected to be able to do it. A couple of years before that I would have demolished my own shed and wouldn’t have needed help. This is a picture of me in 2012. The contrast with the haggard me of 2020 is a bit of a worry.
This was a rugby club ID photo – I was much more colourful in those days, with a ruddy hue and ginger beard. I’m now pale and white, which reminds me – I had a look at yesterday’s foggy photo and have just noticed the decapitated scarecrow in the foreground. No wonder people have been saying it’s eerie. I missed that until today.
It’s a sombre thought on the impermanence of what we regard as a normal way of life. Tomorrow I will try for a more cheerful view.
Meanwhile, I will leave you with a header picture of a poppy purple poppy. I like purple poppies. I found it whilst looking through some old photos. They seem to have died off in the garden, but the memory lives on.
As an antidote to musings on mortality we had sausages for tea and followed them up with rhubarb and apple crumble. You can’t be serious while you’re eating sausages, which don’t really lend themselves to solemnity. Crumble, though lacking some of the comic potential of sausages is a similarly cheery food and should, in my view, be prescribed as a cure for depression.
I may actually launch a movement to deliver crumbles to neighbours. Unfortunately, in these days of Type 2 diabetes and rampant anti-sugarism it may open me up to accusations of attempted mass murder…