Tag Archives: keys

Monday and Moving Up a Level

I spent the night alternately laying awake or making trips to the bathroom. As I finally drifted off into an exhausted sleep an old alarm clock of Julia’s, which wasn’t actually set and hadn’t been used for years, decided to start working and sounded an alarm at about 5am, then again half an hour later. It will, as a result, never sound another alarm.

Then, at 6.30, having woken up yet again for a bathroom break, I gave up, got dressed, had a glass of water (which apparently makes the blood flow better) and set off for my blood test. The car parking is still free, due to Covid, though I’m not sure how that makes a difference, and the service still suffers from random halts, where they don’t seem to do anything. I was still finished just before 8.00, despite the delays and the need to puncture both arms in search of blood.

I went home, picked Julia up and took her to work. It worked out nicely and we were ten minutes early. That meant I arrived at work in plenty of time, which gave me time to have coffee and read haiku on the computer before starting to pack the eBay sales.

This relaxing interlude made up for the hassle of getting into the shop, as my front door key decided to play up. Once or twice a year it does that. I suspect it is a lock problem rather than a key problem but there isn’t much I can do about it.

The day passed smoothly, I went home, washed up, set a vegetable stew going on the hob and prepared afternoon tea for Julia on her return from work. It was one of my better days as a husband.

The afternoon tea will be the basis for a new scone chronicle soon, but I’m out of practice and it might be a day or two yet. My sister sent us an afternoon tea gift box, which formed the basis of four days of afternoon tea.

Tonight we were told we will be moving up to a Level 3 lockdown, but as I don’t socialise, go to the pub or eat out it is not going to affect me a great deal.

That could be the title of my lockdown memoirs “The Man Who Stayed at Home”.

I’d like to be able to travel a bit more, particularly as it’s seal time soon, and I’d like more reliable access to toilets when we are out, but I’d also like a better computer, world peace and a substantial lottery win. Sometimes you just need to get on with your life and be grateful for what you have.

Another Short Post


When Julia had her funny turn, as I now refer to it, she left her keys with one of the other staff members when she was taken off in the ambulance. Today, we arranged a meeting with suitable social distancing, to get the keys back. I stayed in the car. Did you know that it takes forty minutes for two women to pass over a set of keys? Slightly over forty minutes in fact, but writing “forty three minutes” seems overly pedantic.

It’s amazing to think of the events in between the two things – hospital, holiday, isolation…


Different lighting – different mood

Tomorrow we are going gardening. I’m going to make smoked mackerel pate tonight and we will have sandwiches, Scotch eggs and tea. It will be nice to get out. As a bonus, I should be able to get some decent new photographs.

Julia is currently outside taking yet another work call. She has left the back door open and I can hear the screaming of swifts outside. Inside, Timothy West and Prunella Scales are cruising through Yorkshire on a canal boat.

I’m watching Outback Opal Hunters at the moment. It’s fascinating stuff, though I’d rather be a gold prospector. You don’t have to work underground to find gold, which is a distinct advantage for someone who doesn’t like confined spaces. I don’t want to be crushed under tons of rock either, or poisoned by poor quality air.

Despite everything I say about vegetating in front of the TV, it can be an educational experience.


Front garden – out of control

More of the same but with Added Doughnuts

Today, in the manner of these things, was rather like yesterday. It was hot, stuffy and windowless. However, I had cold water with me and a new mindset – no more boredom, just a new relaxation technique.

For the second day on the trot we were full of customers until 2 o’clock. This was good as we’ve been short of customers over the last few weeks because they all seem to have gone on holiday.

After a hard day at work (comparatively speaking – sitting down prodding a keyboard and chatting to customers is not exactly onerous) I returned home to find Julia turning the place upside down looking for lost keys. I am forbidden to mention it, as, three hours later, she found them in her purse. Talk about a senior moment. Not that I’m able to say too much after what happened last Monday.

On that subject, I had my blood test results – they are holding steady and I’m not required for another test until September. This is a good thing. It’s particularly good as it took some getting and I didn’t bleed after they took the needle out. That’s usually a bad sign and results in more tests. I’m obviously getting the hang of it now.

Julia bought doughnuts today, because jam, sugar and fat are just what I need in my attempt to lose weight.

However, Julia doesn’t need the calories either and I thought I’d better help her out. It seemed churlish not to. The only problem is that they always come in 5s, which means we are currently having an enquiry about who ate the fifth one while Julia was out of the room.

I’m saying nothing.

Today’s picture is another one from Crosby Beach – the RNLI patrol keeping an eye out for sightseers trapped in quicksand. It’s a tricky beach as this link shows.


I spent some time working in the new shop getting things ready. When I finished I set the alarm and walked out, turned to lock the door…

…and found that I had a key that won’t lock the door from the outside. It’s fixed now, but as I stood there making futile attempts to lock the door life seemed to be against me.

It seems that my day has been one long string of conflicts with inanimate objects. It started off with my trousers, which fought back with unusual vigour this morning. The theme continued when I had to mount a Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal long service award with four extra bars (for 35, 40, 45 and 50 years). As you can see from the picture, it was a fiddly job. The bars are two different sizes, just to make things more difficult.

Fifty years voluntary service selling poppies is quite a feat, and I can’t help feeling it would be nice to mark it with something a bit better.

From there, as detailed above, it was a short step to fighting with the door lock.

Compared to the British Men’s Curling team I had it easy. I didn’t watch the match on TV but I did see one shot on the highlights. It threaded its way between two other stones, bumped one of ours out of the way and won the match for the Swiss.

It’s not necessarily the most gripping of sports, but a great shot is a great shot whatever te sport. And that was a great shot. It would have been better if it had been a British shot, but that’s life.

Without sporting set-backs winning would mean nothing.

I’m now off to finish the second part of yesterday’s post.

Locks, keys and luck…

The pin tumbler lock was probably an Egyptian invention, though it’s better known as the Yale lock these days. It’s not the world’s greatest lock but it’s widespread and convenient. If only the keys were as durable as the lock…

Yes, after watching my key bend a little more each day I really should have had a new one cut a couple of weeks ago, but you always think you can push it one more time don’t you? Well, I do. We don’t have many days off and when we do I never feel like going to a key shop.

It took surprisongly little force in the end. I was in the car, realised I had forgotten something and quickly went back to the house to get it. A quick twist of the lock and, with only about the force needed to break cheese, I had part of a key in my hand. And part of a key in the lock. Not a problem for me, just put the broken bit in and I was OK. However, you can’t really expect everyone else with a key to cut theirs to match so I had to do something.

Tweezers didn’t work and nor did a bent paperclip, banging the lock on the floor or swearing at it. Just as I was thinking of going for a new lock, and quite a lot of new keys, I saw what I was looking for. There was a small hole at the back. I’m not sure if it had always been there or if I revealed it in my attempts to dismantle the cylinder, but whatever it was, it was a life-saver.

Reapplication of the bent paperclip popped the broken piece out.

I’ve not had a great week so far but at last things may be looking up.