Tag Archives: shopping

Of Scones and Mills and Shopping Malls and Burgers, Chips and Things…

We went to Hobbycraft after I posted this morning. Julia went to do whatever she does in there and I sat in the car, thinking and photographing and making notes. Green’s Windmill was working so I took a few photos, then decided to take a video. At that point they stopped the mill. Typical.

There was a lot of clutter in the photo so I’ve decided to say that it is meant to represent the Mill in its modern urban setting. What it actually represents is my reluctance to get out of the car and walk around the car park to find a place where I could get a clear shot.

Julia emerged from the shop with bulging bags and we went for an early lunch at Burger King. It was quite pleasant, though I did cough a bit when they asked me an extra 20 pence for barbecue sauce. We won’t be going to Burger King again for a while.

This is probably a good thing, because we shouldn’t be eating junk food.

I won’t complain but I am going to make a note in my diary to write to them in six months and tell them how much money they lost for the sake of 20 pence.

We then went to the shopping outlet just off the M1 in Derbyshire. It’s gradually declined over the years. If you want cheap young person fashions, expensive coffee, shiny kitchen ware or an overpriced watch this is the place for you. Most of the decent shops have closed (including Thorntons) and the bookshop is very boring. This is modern shopping – a soulless process involving shuffling round like a zombie and dying a little bit in every boring, over-priced shop.

Julia bought a diary for next year, and that was that. Even without the poor pickings at the shops it wasn’t a great trip, as the rain was cold and the sky was difficult to differentiate from the dark grey of the roof slates.

From there we slipped down to Denby Pottery.  Julia had seen some in the shop at the outlet and mentioned we ought to look in at the factory shop one day. It’s not far away and I can take a hint. It is her birthday soon and she’s being no help at all in helping me select a present.

It didn’t help once we got to the factory – the gift shop has been dumbed down since we last went and is hard to tell from the average garden centre hell hole gift shop.

However, we did have a very good scone with butter and jam. It was sweet, light and still slightly warm. You’d have enjoyed it if you’d been there. Top marks for that.

After that we went home. I had a snooze in front of the TV then had a bowl of soup before posting. Once I’ve posted I will take Number Two Son to work.

My life is a real roller coaster ride of fun and frolics.

 

 

 

Grumpiness Level Rising

Interesting day.

After my first post I mooched round the house a bit and gathered the washing. I just managed to get the first two loads into dryers when a crowd formed. It was like a flash mob of people with bags of wet washing. Several of them scowled at me for my temerity in having two machines. I had three loads to do so I deliberately split the last load between the two washers and sat there looking smug to the bitter end.

I hate people who use the dryers without using a washer in the launderette.

I’m not keen on people who scowl at me either.

To be fair, they probably aren’t keen on me either.

Then it was off shopping. There were a lot of people in the shop who explored new and inventive ways of getting in my way.

I hate…etc…

They should be identified as children by their tendency to dawdle and sterilised. That way they might be able to get in my way but they won’t have a brood of useless children to help them in the activity

By this time I felt the need to sit in the car and write haiku.

Unfortunately I ended up writing a haibun about people getting in my way.

It didn’t help.

I feel the calming effect of Japanese poetry might be wearing off.

 

Sunshine at Last

I decided to go for a guilt-free Sunday.

There are two ways to do this. One revolves round working myself to a frazzle so I don’t feel guilty about Julia working while I’m slacking at home.

The second involves heavy-duty skiving allied to a complete lack of conscience.

It wasn’t a hard decision, though I didn’t completely shake the guilt.

As a result I ended up buying fish for tea. She likes fish. I don’t. But I do like idleness, so it’s a sacrifice I’m prepared to make.

You never know, it may actually improve my brain-power, though Julia just went on record suggesting that it will take more than a piece of fish to show any significant  improvement. She can be very cutting at times.

I will also let her watch The Woman in White without complaining. I think Collins is a great writer, and handles his material well. I just feel that the books show their age when it comes to matters like plot and length. Having read The Moonstone a while ago I’m in no hurry to repeat the experience.

I took a few shots whilst waiting for her to emerge from work, and a few more when I took her to the Mencap Garden. She saw a Common Blue, an Orange Tip and several whites. I saw a Brimstone and several whites. It’s a good year for butterflies, even if they weren’t cooperating for photographs.

I bought a power pack last year when I was in and out of hospital as I always seemed to be kept in when my phone battery was low. Of course, once I bought it, I never needed it. I’ve finally used it and can report that it recharged my Kindle to nearly 100% quite quickly, and my phone to 50% in about an hour. At that point I gave up and unplugged it. It’s still worth having, even if it was a bit slow.

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Power Pack

Technology can be quite useful at times.

In which a joke of questionable taste is told, coins are sorted and I am forced out of the way by a rude woman in the supermarket.

I decided to employ a sub-heading as I couldn’t convey it all in the title. (Added later: then I forgot to write a title! Senior Moment Alert!)

Last week, having failed the blood test, I received a panicky phone call from the anti-coagulation service. They do take things a bit seriously at times. All I did was forget a couple of pills and drift off target a bit – it’s not like I’m hovering at Death’s door. I’m not even at Death’s garden gate. In fact, I’m feeling quite perky.

As I get older I really ought to stop saying things like that, as I’m going to look pretty stupid if I drop dead tomorrow.

I’m pretty sure the anti-coagulation is working as I bled quite a bit when they pulled the needle out.

We had a visitor in the shop today, which was good as I hadn’t seen him for about ten years. He used to be a coin dealer, but he’s taken up a new career since then and now takes secular funeral services. He also told us one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately I can’t repeat it.

It wasn’t rude and it didn’t feature bad language but it was, shall we say, in questionable taste, and looked at something from an unusual angle.

I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my seat.

Then I carried on sorting. Stamps, shillings and crowns. Ah, the glamour!

Finally, as you may have guessed from the first paragraph, I went shopping. It all went relatively well until I got to the checkout. The manned checkouts were all crammed, so I decided to use the self-service. They, it seemed, had been giving trouble all day, and the one I used queried six of my nine articles, necessitating the intervention of a staff member each time.

When all was done I started to leave the shop. As I got to the doorway a woman came up behind me and pushed past, which isn’t good when you’re using a stick for balance. She then made someone else swerve to avoid her then walked directly towards someone coming into the shop and made them stop the let her past.

She wasn’t being pursued, she was just very rude, arrogant and inconsiderate.

All this rush meant that she got to her car, started the engine and engaged reverse gear ready to escape.

Meanwhile, I put a bit of a spurt on.

And once I was behind her car, as she waited impatiently to reverse out, I walked behind her…very…very…slowly.

I don’t usually manage to get my own back, but today everything just fell right. And it felt good.

 

The Plan Falls (Mainly) Into Place

Right, I’ve sorted out the debacle that resulted from this morning’s post. I’ve also confessed to another world-class senior moment. This is beginning to be a habit.

So, how did the plan for today go, I hear you ask.

Well…

Julia – dropped off at work on time.

Go home – read blogs and write one.  I think you probably know how that went.

Laundry – did that. Couldn’t get a parking space so  had to carry three nags of washing  round the corner and across the road. Managed to set one machine on a cold wash, which was annoying.  Apart from that I had the place to myself most of the time.

Photographs – went to Arnot Hill Park. Didn’t get many as there were a lot of shadows on the water from neighbouring trees, and the bits without shadow had glare from the low sun. There was a cormorant – originally diving for fish, then drying its wings. It took some stalking after I first saw it, but once it decided to dry its wings it stood and displayed itself shamelessly. Nobody else seemed to notice. It’s the first one I’ve seen on the duck pond.

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Tufted Duck male on the duck pond at Arnot Hill, Arnold, Notts

From there I went shopping, met an old friend, and spent a happy hour catching up on the news.

After that it was back home to cook and plan blog posts.  However, first I had a sit down and cup of tea. Shall we just say that no cooking or blogging took place, as I moved smoothly on to the final element of the plan.

Fortunately I had set the alarm on my phone, and was  woken in time to pick Julia up from work.

We’re now waiting for a Chinese delivery, as it’s too late to cook. Well, that’s the excuse I’m using.

Only two photographs today because the rest won’t download. The card reader isn’t working and the lead for connecting the camera directly seems to have disappeared. They do that if you don’t keep a constant watch on them.

 

Me and the Christmas Spirit

Julia, with her normal concern for my moral welfare, has decided that today is going to be spent in a flurry of activity. This, it seems, will prevent me getting into mischief and will ensure that we have an excellent family Christmas.

It involves shopping, buying things we don’t need, and arguing.

What it doesn’t involve, I’m told, is stocking up with beer so that, with the assistance of my brother-in-law, I may construct a masterly essay on brewing and beer tasting. That’s a loss to the world of literature, and if Julia takes her place in history alongside the person from Porlock she has only herself to blame.

The shops will be closed for one day. We will have a special meal. We will do a lot of sitting round eating, talking and complaining about the poor quality of TV. This pretty much describes every Sunday of my youth. Things have moved on since then but have we really lost the knack of sitting round talking about nothing and eating roast meat?

The shops used to close on Sundays, TV only had a couple of channels and we had a roast dinner – the phrase “Sunday dinner” was invented specifically to describe this.

We never had to fight people in the aisles of the supermarket or buy enough food for a week just to see us through until Monday.

I’m not going to resist, as I won’t win. As you go about your pre-Christmas tasks just spare a thought for a poor man being swept along on a tide of Christmas preparations, being elbowed by pensioners as he competes, under the orders of his wife, for the last few nobby greens.

At least my moral welfare will be impeccable, my soul will be stainless, and, after a generous portion of high-fibre brassicas, my bowels will be gleaming.

 

 

A Day for Small Jobs

I started off by delivering Julia into servitude at 8.30 this morning. She’s not fond of Thursdays as she has to rush across town at 4pm to get from one job to another before finally being allowed home at 8pm.

Then I went to Newark. It was cold, business was non-existent and the tale of the last two weeks was one of cold, snow and poverty. After an exchange of cards, a cup of tea and a laugh about old times (there’s nothing to laugh about at the moment) I went browsing in W H Smiths looking for writing paper. I didn’t find any. The notes in my Christmas cards will, as a result, be written on paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook. To be fair, this is a more accurate reflection of me than smart writing paper.

A trip round Wilkos netted a tin of Vaseline lip-care products for Julia, a bucket of fat balls for the birds for £4 and a chicken and stuffing sandwich for £1. Yes, I know, I’m not supposed to be eating bread. However, as I’d already treated my self to a sausage and onion cob for breakfast I didn’t think a chicken sandwich was going to do too much extra damage, either to my waistline or my digestion.

From there it was a quick trip to the doctor to put in some prescription requests and on to TESCO for healthy veg and new gloves.

Resisting the urge to go home I visited the shop to drop off Christmas cards to my new colleagues (I’m such a creep) and helped with the delivery of two new cabinets for the new shop. It’s starting to take shape.

I then went home, supposedly to post on the blog but actually to engage in a variety of displacement activities, including sleeping in front of the TV, watching TV, checking ebay, picking Julia up from work, browsing the internet, writing notes to go in Christmas cards and warming up soup. I was tempted to say “cooking” but I’m pretty sure preparing soup and a sandwich isn’t cooking. We normally have something more substantial but after a day that saw us both deviating from our diets we thought we’d cut back a bit.

I even managed to do a bit of reading, having bought the Kindle edition of Maya and the Book of Everything by Laurie Graves. It’s going quite well so far. We’re right into the action and moving along nicely and there’s no boring stuff about chivalry or whales. She is therefore already ahead of Cervantes and Melville in my estimation. On the minus side there’s a definite lack of talking animals, though Sir John Oldcastle is about to make an appearance. I like Sir John.