We have a food delivery coming tomorrow and I am struggling with the finer details. Pudding of the week was going to be a couple of lemon tarts but they seem to be unavailable. There seems to be a problem with lemon tarts, whether Sicilian or plain, as the results from our food orders are Ordered 2 Delivered 0. ASDA and TESCO have both defaulted.
This is a definite case of First World Problems. If I was living in Bangladesh right now I would have more to worry about than pudding deliveries. I’ve just been looking at a website with international Covid-19 news on it, and despite what I’m told is great government incompetence, I have to say I wouldn’t swap for many places in the world. I see that Sweden’s death rate is now rising steeply, and is currently higher than that of the UK. Even hindsight isn’t much help in making sense of a lot of the figures, so I’m just going to chill out and take it all with a pinch of salt. All my worrying, and all the worrying of everyone in the world, isn’t going to alter the course of the pandemic.
For now, I’m going to worry about croissants and cake. We probably should order croissants, because it gives us a different breakfast once a week, and everyone needs a treat. As for cake – I usually opt for Battenberg. I am a creature of habit and it’s a good thing to see on the plate when we serve afternoon tea.
Yes, civilisation is on the way out but a couple of times a week we have afternoon tea. There is, at this point, no obvious benefit to letting standards slip.
I am really regretting never taking a picture of a Battenberg cake, so I’ve taken one from the internet. It is the one from the Wikipedia link I gave above and I hope they will forgive my larceny.
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.
The queue spans both photos
The queue spans both photos
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). 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
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 Line (the real one, not the film) and I wondered what would have happened if Captain Oates had been put off by a sore foot.
Daffodils are dying back
A pigeon goes about its business
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?
I missed my self-imposed deadline last night – it was just past midnight when I posted. Only about seventeen minutes past, but enough to make a difference.
We’ve decided to leave the seals today, as we’re still waiting for a call from the builder and the current weather isn’t looking good. Maybe next week…
The rain is back and the temperature is rising. This is good news for those of us who live on a windy ridge but less good for people who live in low-lying places.
Generally, the world is a miserable place, and the UK is particularly bad at the moment because we are in the middle of an election and everyone on TV seems to be talking down the NHS. At the moment the fashion seems to be for bringing students into discussions about workloads on their work placements. I’m not sure students are the best people to comment on workloads.
Having worked in agriculture and been self-employed for many years I have a slightly different view on pay and hours compared to many of the people who come on TV.
I don’t want to come over like a Yorkshireman here, but I used to work six days a week and don’t think it damaged me.
Yesterday I read an interesting piece in the paper. It’s by Jane Garvey, a presenter with the BBC. It is about the gender pay gap at the BBC. The headlines of the case make juicy reading, with men paid a fortune and women lagging far behind. However, it’s not the full story. For one thing, the full pay is not always disclosed, as they do other things on the side. For another, as was mentioned by a male presenter at the time, he was paid more than his female counterpart because he did more work, including working on Saturday and Sunday doing the football reporting.
Anyway, she is paid about £150,000 a year according to various reports, something she fails to mention in her writing. Her contention is that by being paid less than her male counterparts she is having to lead a lesser lifestyle both now and in retirement. You can’t argue with that.
However, let’s look at it another way.
She’s paid £150,000 a year, which puts her in the top few percent of people in the country, and she earns it sitting in front of a microphone.
Many people, including me, would love to be paid £150,000 a year. In fact I’d love to be paid £70,000, which is officially rich. Or even the median pay of £25,000.
Julia would merely like to work somewhere warm with running water and electricity.
I’m not sure if the gender pay gap is the main problem we have here.
(And yes, there are people all over the world who would like running water and electricity, so I ought to be counting my blessings, not whining.)
Sorry Tootlepedal – it’s a flawed, fatal failure of a non-alliterative title today. I did think about doing a post about an egregious example of an egg salad, but I didn’t have enough to say.
I always have more thoughts than I write about, and always seem to have more photographs than I can use too.
Here’s an opener – have you done Rachel McAlpine’s Older Blogger’s Survey? Obviously, many of my readers won’t be old enough to take it, and some of you are perpetually youthful, but one or two of you might find it useful. I found it interesting to get some of my thoughts in line.
Some of the other thoughts I’ve had are uncharitable ones about the idiot who taped my driving license to the court paperwork before sending it back. With finding a cloth and solvent it took me ten minutes to get it cleaned off.
Gloster Meteor stamp
I also wonder who thought it would be a good idea to design a car park where the exit doesn’t take coins, but insists on card payments in a badly lit machine that’s set at the wrong height. It might be OK for owls and midgets but it’s not good for me.
Then there’s the thoughts about British Telecom. We’ve been having a steadily worsening service, so Julia rang them on Saturday to sort things out. It took several hours and a number of false starts. They’ve been charging us too much and providing a shoddy service, neither of which they were prepared to correct. We still won’t be getting a refund but they are going to send us one of the latest routers (we have a Mark 2 and they are currently on Mark 6). They did offer to check the wiring in the house (and charge around £10) and charge us for a new router but Julia, growing ever shorter in temper as a result of her lack of sleep, managed to work a free router out of them. Of course, we haven’t got it yet, so we’ll see what happens.
A stream near Lound in Lincolnshire
Another thought that comes back to me from time to time is wondering if I’m in a hospital ward somewhere and all the WordPress comments on my blog are just voices in my head.
It could be, you never know. When I was younger I used to wonder if everyone saw the “blue” sky in the same way. What if they were seeing the colour I called “green”? Or even “orange”?
I’ve been dealing with several auctioneers recently – one of them won’t send items I buy with my debit card to any other address than the billing address. Three other auctioneers can do it, Paypal can do it, Amazon can do it, but this one particular auction house, it seems, can’t do it. To add insult to injury, the address I want to use is one where they already send things.
Life can be very complicated in these days of electronic payments when everyone is scared of fraud. They will send it wherever I ask if I pay by bank transfer, but why should I give my bank details out?
That could easily develop into a rant, so I’ll change subjects now.
2013 £2 coin in presentation pack
The 2013 £2 is the first time a UK coin has ever commemorated another coin – in this case the Guinea of 1663. The Guinea is a very interesting coin. I won’t venture an opinion on the £2 as we just sold one of these packs on eBay.
I’ll finish up by dotting the post with some random unused photographs, which links us back to the first paragraph.
Thinking about it, there are a few first world problems here. I have just had a letter from Mary’s Meals and it might be a good idea to send them a few quid.
The were piles of leaves in the sheltered streets of The Meadows this morning, but apart from that there was not much seen of the 100 mph death storm promised by the tabloids.
“How and when deadly Ophelia will affect your area today” is how the Daily Mirror puts it in the website headline, though it tones this down to “blustery” in its forecast for the Midlands.
It has been bad for some people, with three deaths in Ireland already, and high winds in Scotland, though I can’t help wondering what a resident of the Caribbean would make of our “problems”. It’s difficult to know, because there seem to be no recent reports on the situation. Newspapers can only give so much space to disasters and the Caribbean is so last week. After all, they have a blustery day in the Midlands to report.