Mr B is on the war-path.
Fortunately for once I am not in his line of fire. The recipient of his wrath (and wrathful he most
certainly is) is the NatWest Bank which was misguided enough to write to him today to say that his email address is incorrect. Even though it clearly isn’t.
B is quite sure that someone at the bank has it in for him, on account of the fact that last week he declined to pay an extra £12.95 a month for a range of services which we (i) didn’t need and (ii) wouldn’t be able to use even if we wanted
them. I say I can’t imagine anyone would have black-balled him for a sensible domestic decision but he is not so sure. And when he found his call inexplicably transferred to another bank altogether, he felt his suspicions had been proved to be
I didn’t know about any of this until I returned from my aqua-aerobics session, all rosy-cheeked and virtuous on account of my 45 minutes of
Not-Particularly-Strenuous-Exercise in the swimming pool. Even after listening in to the end of his increasingly irate conversation I couldn’t work out to whom he was talking. I was just pleased it wasn’t me.
Anyway I know how to handle such situations. OK, I know some people swear by reflexology, or Flower Remedies, or a bout of meditation to alleviate stress and anxiety. I place my faith in altogether
more practical solutions. So I told him we were off to have lunch at the lovely Sea Lane Cafe where the stiff sea air would dispel any residual grumpiness arising from his unsatisfactory telephone conversation. We would pick up newspapers on our way
so that we could read them over our lunch – thus ensuring that we wouldn’t spend our whole lunch time picking over the bones of his argument with the bank. We would stay there until the sea air (not to mention the sausage, egg and chips)
had worked their healing powers.
Obviously my therapy session might have gone horribly wrong had we not managed to find a table. The Sea Lane Cafe is a popular
place, even on a Monday in the height of winter. Failure to secure a table might well have led Mr B to start reflecting again (and at length) on the intransigence of the financial services industry and the unfairness of life in general. I couldn’t
have that – so spotting a couple about to vacate their table we “jumped in their graves” as they say. This act, in itself, did much to cheer Mr B who loves nothing better than to succeed where others, more timorous, less, well, pushy
than him would fail.
I love the seaside in the winter. Well, I love the seaside all the year round but the seaside in the winter is like a hidden secret
for those of us lucky enough to live there. Every day is different, every day is special. Today the sea is a secretive, greeny-brown colour and the waves, whipped up by a fierce wind, are crashing onto the shore in an exhilarating dance of the dervishes. Two
brave wind-surfers have taken to the water and are battling the elements, their brightly coloured sails skimming across the water. We watch them and contemplate how little we envy them, out there in the cold and the wet. It’s so much cosier, so
much more comfortable, so much warmer here inside, hands wrapped around a cup of coffee and lunch on its way.
We return home in high spirits. Mr
B says what will be, will be. When I check my emails and start tut-tutting at a particularly annoying message, he tells me to calm down. My therapy session has been a complete success.
I think I might set up a new business as a stress consultant. I wouldn’t charge much – just the cost of lunch and a couple of coffees. I wouldn’t need an office, not with the Sea Lane Cafe just around the corner.
Medicines - who needs them? Just breathe in that fresh, sea air! It always works wonders...