Jaqui's Daily Blog

There Are Ways of Keeping Cool

So according to an informal customer survey I carried out yesterday (the hottest day for, like, ever), the coolest local shop was the butcher’s. Unfortunately there is only so long one can spend examining the refrigerated display, pretending to agonise over Sussex lamb chops (on offer at £7.99 for six), chicken breast fillets or award-winning sausages of various recipes. I just had to move on...


The hair salon was not exactly cool, what with the hair dryers on full blow, but I’d already rearranged my appointment once so there was nothing for it but to go with the flow. The sweet lass who washed my hair (“please tell me if the water is too hot, I can’t tell myself, not wearing gloves, but if I don’t wear gloves I ruin my hands and then I wouldn’t be able to wash your hair”) is trying to introduce her partner to healthy eating. She has stocked her fridge at home with salad and other healthy options but when her partner arrived home, he looked in the fridge and complained that there was “nothing to eat.” There is something very comforting about lying there, with your head over the wash basin, having your head massaged (“Would you like conditioner? Yes? Amazing!”) and listening to somebody else prattling on about their life - especially when it is far too hot to enter into a debate about healthy eating and the Power of Vegetables.


Once my hair was, once again, under something like control I was tempted to return to the butchers on the excuse of checking out the price of eggs - but, no, I had told Mr B I would be back before 2.30 so I needed to get moving. Only slowly, you understand, account of the heat...


You are wondering, aren’t you, how Mr B enjoyed the Sporting Memories Club - I am sad to inform you that we didn’t get there, it being Just Too Hot. Never mind, there is always next week...


My dear Dad used to love long, hot summers. He did have a business reason, as well as a personal preference as every Sunday afternoon he would take to his ice cream tricycle and hit the roads, peddling (and pedalling) for all he was worth. As I remember, the top seller was an ice cream sandwich - two thin wafer biscuits enclosing a small oblong of ice cream. There wasn’t that much choice, not in those long ago days.


I will always remember my Dad turning up at the hospital where I was recovering from an operation to remove my tonsils with ice creams for every young patient in the ward. For one day only he was Everybody’s Hero and I basked unashamedly in his glory. If you seek popularity in a hospital ward full of children with sore throats, a father offering free ice creams takes some beating.


I’m keeping Mr B hydrated with ice lollies as he simply won’t drink water. He is convinced that ice lollies are a naughty treat so is more than happy to oblige me. In this, he is rather like the partner of the sweet girl who washed my hair - he would reject anything that reeked of “healthy” out of hand. I wonder what he would do if KFC suddenly became a Healthy Option. 


The Darling Daughters kept messaging me yesterday to make sure that we were both keeping cool; all those warning messages on TV and radio were stressing them out. I had to tell them about the butchers and assure them that I would take refuge in the cold meats section if things got really bad...


Apparently it is going to cool down now. Everybody says so, which means it can’t simply be a matter of wishful thinking. I will be able to hide my legs under trousers again and visit all the local shops, not just the butchers. 


I’m also thinking how lovely it would be, to be visited by an ice-cream salesman on a tricycle, selling wafer ice cream sandwiches.


Especially if the Coolest of Ice Cream Salesmen just happened to be my dear Dad...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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