We went to Derbyshire today. Despite being a Bank Holiday it wasn’t crowded and we managed to buy Julia the shoes she needed for the Maltese trip. We also bought some books and ice-cream.
We saw half a dozen Orange Tips and a pair of Brimstones. It really is looking like a good year for both species – I don’t remember seeing as many as this before.
On our return home we scurried round, changed and went for a birthday curry with my fellow shop workers and a few customers. It was a good night, and unlike last time, I was on time (just!), parked across the road and didn’t get rained on.
Yes, for those of you who may be wondering, I am now 60. That’s the “three score years” done with – just the next ten to worry about now.
I’m now going to write some poetry as part of my 200 poems in a fortnight challenge. Don’t worry, I won’t be subjecting you to my efforts, unless I write more limericks or clerihews. I seem to remember I was supposed to be writing more clerihews.
Over the years the British TV industry has made a lot of great TV. So has the American TV industry. Sadly, the people who plan what programmes to play have decided not to use any of that output tonight. Julia has gone to bed, as we are up at 5.00 tomorrow morning, and after washing up, making her sandwiches and having a snack, I’m at a loose end.
I could go to bed, but if I spend too much time there my back begins to play up, so I’m resisting the idea for a few more hours. This is probably a sign that we need a new mattress. It’s also a sign that I could spend a little money and make my life more comfortable. That’s not something I’ve thought of before. It’s probably a sign of the wisdom that supposedly comes with age, but it’s been a long time coming.
I could also do some work, as I have a number of things tasks piling up, but you know how it is. Sloth and procrastination, even in the company of poor TV, are preferable to work, even if that work is only googling stuff and making lists. It’s like sugar and fat – you know lentils and carrots are better for you, put you still reach for a biscuit in preference to salad. Or is that just me?
Inanimate objects, meanwhile, continue to make my life complicated.
My shoes have decided to express solidarity with my trousers and make my life a misery. The right shoe has started leaking. I’m hopeful that if the snow goes soon I may get another nine months out of them.
The problem with shoes is that my left foot is nearly a size larger than the other. In order to achieve a decent fit I have to stretch the left shoe a little, then wear it in. Sometimes this takes several months, and can be quite uncomfortable on account of the bunion that is starting to develop. By the time I have everything as I like it the shoes start to wear out.
I’ve tried getting round it by buying bigger shoes, but it’s hard to find size 13 in the shops, and it can be difficult walking when your right foot is rattling about in a massive shoe.
As if this isn’t enough, the car warning lights have started winking at me again. The left sidelight is devoting itself to inducing an intermittent fault. I’m not even sure why I need a sidelight with all the others, but it seems important enough to warrant a warning light of its own.
This is one of the complexities of modern life. In the old days bulbs just used to blow and you replaced them at MOT time or when a policeman pulled you over.
I really ought to be writing my next Desert Island Blogs but if I do I won’t get round to writing about today.
It’s not been an outstandingly interesting day, but then again, it’s been good enough to record – starting with greengages and ending in conflict with the government.
The greengages in the garden are sparse but pleasant. The tree is in need of a good prune to open it up into the approved goblet shape and I suspect a good feed will do some good too. It’s at the top of my list because I like greengages, but we’ll have to see what actually happens. When your wife is in charge, and has a group of enthusiastic volunteers to help her, nothing is certain. So far they’ve ripped out armfuls of mint, laid waste to the toadflax and clipped random branches off most of the fruit trees because they watch Monty Don on TV.
Elusive greengages, Wilford, Notts
She couldn’t run the garden without them, but it would be nice to have some order in the place. Whenever I think of work going on in the garden I tend to think of a maelstrom of ativity directed towards tidiness rather than pollinators.
From there I went to Newark. The weather was lovely and I heard an interesting story about shoes.
In the aftermath of the Great War the storyteller’s grandfather died as a result of gas he had inhaled on the Western Front. It was a common story, with some veterans still coughing their ways through the 1960s and 70s due to gas injuries. This death, with an eighteen-month-old girl in the family(thev storyteller’s mother) , cast them all into poverty. They were able to get shoes from a charity – shoes for boys had Peter Pan on the front and the shoes for girls had Cinderella. She was so ashamed of her charity shoes that she tried to cover the Cinderella up using blacklead grate polish.
Does anyone know anything about these shoes? Ideally I need input from a Londoner in his 70s – now where would I find one of them?
I’ve tried Google but it’s mostly about pantomimes. There was a Bradford Cinderella Club but there’s no mention of pictures on shoes.
Newark from the car park, again
After that it was time to get back to Nottingham for a blood test. I walked in, registered and didn’t even have time to open my book before being buzzed through. Unfortunately they sent me through to the wrong room. Then they redirected me and I went to another wrong room, though I think that was my fault. Finally they stuck a needle in me. Then another. And another. Then they called another nurse in, and she failed. Finally, as my false grin was stating to fade, they hit the red stuff. To be fair, they had hit the veins with previous attempts (and I was leaking blood all over the place) but they just couldn’t fill a tube.
Last time I gave that much blood the Blood Transfusion Service gave me a cup of tea and a biscuit.
It’s getting time for my car’s MOT test, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t had a reminder from the DVLA. I checked on the website and they have no record. This is government cost cutting in action. Seemingly it’s quite common these days. I nipped down to the garage to check, and confirmed I do need a test. I’ve booked it in for tomorrow.
After picking Julia up from work I went shopping, only to find that the road was closed. It took a while getting round that, after which I had to use a different branch of TESCO than the one I had intended. This entailed parking next to a squashed pigeon and dodging round a number of large women with tattoos, who were shopping, slowly, with their equally large, slow daughters.
Now, I’m large myself, and I don’t move as fast as I did, but I do try to employ a degree of spatial awareness and I don’t take my kids shopping. They wouldn’t go anyway: they don’t like being seem with me.
Finally, to confirm my view of the place there were no decent books on the charity book table. At my normal branch there is a bookcase with five shelves of books. At the one I used tonight, just a table with a scattering of dog-eared rubbish.
As a final thought, the insides of my elbows hurt as if they’ve been stabbed multiple times. Oh, that’s right…
I ended up in Beeston this morning after I took the wrong road (the Nottingham one, not the Cheshire one – once I see Beeston castle I really have gone wrong!). As a result I was able to eat breakfast (see Pies and Prejudice for more details), drive past a former silk mill (burnt down in the riots of 1831) and have a look at the new tram system.
We were actually on our way to Chilwell (a name you may recognise if you are into the history of shell-filling factories in the Great War) to do some shoe shopping. I need big shoes, have no sense of style and dislike spending money, so it’s off to Sports Direct for a selection of their discounted size 12 Karrimoor shoes.
Having secured my shoes I was then struck by an idea.
It wasn’t the best of ideas, but a while later we found ourselves in the car park at Denby Pottery. It was a visit of mixed fortunes.
They are changing things round so we weren’t able to look round the museum, which is being relocated, and they didn’t seem to have a very good selection of animal models. This was a shame as I like to look round the museum and I was hoping Julia might express a liking for one of the animals as I’m desperately looking for presents for our wedding anniversary and her birthday. Check the 1930s section of this page to see what I mean.
On the other hand they do have a new farm shop run by prize-winning pie makers Walter Smith. They also have meat, black pudding and a fine selection of oils and stuff.
As a result I now have a pie to test and a bottle of Cranberry Balsamic vinegar that is so good I’d be happy to drink it neat.
No pictures today – I originally set off to buy shoes, not photograph them. I really must remember in future.