The bespectacled fella on the till at Boots tells me that once I turn sixty I will qualify for extra points on every purchase I make in the store or on-line using my Advantage Card. Clearly he should have gone to Specsavers...
I blush becomingly and tell him that I am actually well over the Age of Extra Advantage Points. Well, actually this is a fib; I’m not talking about the passage of years,
here (as regular readers are aware I have reached a Great Age) but I’m pretty sure nobody ever blushes “becomingly” except in novels of a Romantic Nature.
I did, however, float out of Boots feeling extremely sprightly on the basis that, faulty eye-sight or not, the sales assistant had me down for being younger than I am. Little things please little minds, don’t you know?
It made a change because I do seem to have had some rather unfortunate encounters in recent days. There was the sales assistant in the local Co-op yesterday who insisted on carrying on her conversation
with her colleague on an adjacent station while nonchalantly swiping my shopping through her own till. It was like being invisible and most disconcerting. I wouldn’t have minded quite so much if had been an interesting conversation, as in, one
worth eavesdropping on, but it wasn’t. Then there was the woman in Tescos a few days ago, who while tossing some poor person’s shopping order into one of those large trolleys which blocks all the aisles, dismissed my timid enquiry about the whereabouts
of gluten free icing all the time muttering loudly (and with the occasional profanity) about how she couldn’t wait to get out of the place. You and me both, I wanted to retort.
Another day, I returned from a stint on the Summer Reading Challenge desk to find someone had deposited a large pallet of building materials on the front lawn. Try as I might, I couldn’t trace the owner - so it was a relief when an extremely large
fork-lift truck turned up the next morning to remove it. It would have made me feel a little happier if somebody had apologised - but, guess what, nobody did.
if all that isn’t enough to turn even the sweetest person slightly sour, this afternoon an enormous truck containing turf arrived outside our house, parking right across our driveway. Would he be long? I asked the driver. His “only five minutes”
turned into twenty...
Now, as you all know, I am generally All Sweetness and Light. I like to see the best in people, to assume they have my interests at
heart. I hate feeling cross. Whingeing and moaning does not come naturally to me.
It wouldn’t have taken much. If the woman in the Co-op had just turned
from her chatter and wished me goodbye and thank you as I left the shop, I would have forgiven her for the boring conversation. If the trolley filler in Tesco’s had explained, sweetly, that the store didn’t stock gluten free icing, for which she
was sorry, I would have been sympathetic about the fact that she was clearly having a Bad Day. I mean, don’t we all have one of those occasionally?
the fork lift driver had knocked on the front door to say sorry, can’t understand what went wrong - I’d have been commiserating with him for having to make a return trip. I might even have offered him a cup of coffee being as I can’t imagine
anyone wouldn’t need a dash of caffeine, driving a fork lift truck around all day. Especially when you deliver at the wrong address. And just supposing the driver of the enormous turf lorry had called at my door and asked if I would mind him parking
across my driveway for twenty minutes, I’d have said, no problems, be my guest, take as long as you like because I’m not going anywhere this afternoon...
Still, Mr Boots has restored my faith in the Kindness of Folks. As has Handyman Chris, who has agreed to be part of our Support Army, suggesting I write down all those small jobs I need doing and contacting him when I have enough for a morning’s
work. I’m sure he can turn his hand at almost anything, handy man that he is.
“Could you bat for England?” asks Mr B, who is still seething after
our national cricket team capitulated big-time to the Aussies in the first Ashes Test Match.
I did say almost anything....