Today's outing was to Specsavers. You have to admit, we know how to have fun.
The girl on the end of the phone when I called to make tge appointment had advised me to
park in the road at the side of Boots where our Blue Badge would allow us to park on double yellow lines for up to three hours. How long? We were only coming for Mr B's regular check-up, after all.
absolutely sure how to negotiate the one way system to find myself where we wanted to be which meant I had to rely on Mr B's navigational skills. He would doubtless tell you he is an Ace Navigator. I couldn't possibly comment. What I will say is that by the
time we arrived, Mr B was complaining long, loud and bitterly about my inability to follow simple instructions and I was all aquiver, having tried my best to anticipate his somewhat belated commands augmented by much arm waving of directions.
I had plenty of time to gather my wits about me while waiting for Mr B to emerge from the optician's room. There was lots to keep me occupied. One woman had lost her husband. He had disappeared an hour ago, on his way to collect
his new specs, and hadn't been seen since. You don't expect such mysteries at the opticians, do you? I was all agog, having watched the first episode of the new series of Death in Paradise last night. Maybe I would be called upon to solve the mystery. I would
summon everybody into the Waiting Area where I would fearlessly uncover....What exactly?
One of the staff used her walkie talkie radio to call upstairs. The Missing Husband was still with the optician trying
to sort out an issue with his new specs. His wife ran upstairs to find him and retrieve the car keys so that she could move their car. She seemed more worried about the time running out on her parking ticket than relieved to find the Disappearing One.
Her seat in the waiting area was taken by a woman wearing the brightest coat you have ever seen, all pink and orange blotches. She really should have gone to Specsavers. Oh, silly me, she did, of course.
Three enormous cardboard boxes arrived in the Reception Area. I tried to guess what on earth they might contain. Two shop assistants set to with scissors to cut through the brown tape securing the parcels. It took a while but
eventually two smart wooden chairs, with handy arms, emerged from each box, to be greeted with exclamations of delight from the staff. There followed much discussion about where each chair should be placed. I didn't offer any suggestions. It hardly seemed
my place to do so though, had I not had the benefit of a chair to sit upon, I might have nabbed one.
A helpful chap asked if the cardboard boxes were destined for the bin or did anyone want them? Nobody did,
so he expertly disassembled them, folding each one into a neat, flat packet. I thought of all the empty boxes I have pulled down from the loft (yes, my New Year's Resolution to clear the loft has started pretty well) which need similar treatment if I am to
fit them in the recycling bin. Maybe I could borrow the helpful chap? I queried.
But, no, and anyway my own fella was emerging from the optician's room with the welcome news that he did not need new specs.
An excellent result, considering we had been prepared to pay out mega bucks. It was turning out to be a cheaper morning out than anticipated.
Except, except - oh no! On our return to the car I found
a penalty notice on my windscreen telling me I had parked illegally. Even with our newly acquired Blue Badge, we were not exempt on account of a small yellow dash on the kerb which I had not seen. It is the first parking infringement I have ever been guilty
of - and I was so sure I had been within the rules.
Now I know why the wife of the Disappearing Husband was fretting about the time running out on her parking. It's no fun, being caught out.
Mr B, ever the pragmatist, advised me to pay up my £35 and Put It All Behind Me. We were still quids in on our expected daily outlay, he reminded me. What he couldn't understand, he said (surprisingly) mildly, was why
I hadn't seen the yellow dash.
I should have gone to Specsavers...