An extract in the life of Al

I’ve had another couple of days in the shop as Al has been visiting the dentist. Trouble with a wisdom tooth. The dentist advised extraction and had had a cancellation for this morning, so Al decided to bite the bullet. Ow.

He thought he’d be back for the afternoon. I said I’d keep the whole day available, just in case. I was not at all surprised when he didn’t feel up to the afternoon shift. Quite apart from the lopsided mouth and the mumbled speech, he felt quite woozy and sore.

Someone brought in some splendid homegrown parsnips, freshly dug and still spattered with authentic mud, which I promptly snapped up, offering £1.00 per kilo, which is about what Al pays the wholesaler. He was very pleased and said he has more to dig up. Al doesn’t try to pay local growers less than the wholesaler, although of course it is a pure bonus for anyone who grows their own veg as they have no overheads to pay, except insofar as they would be spending money on their garden anyway. But the more people who think of him when they have a surplus, especially at this time of year when he has less local stuff to offer, the happier he is. So are the customers. I was putting the parsnips into a box and writing a large label for it when a customer, being served by Eileen, saw them. “Ooh, they look lovely. May I swap the ones I have just bought?”

Robert came in, a day early. Usually, he visits his parents on a Saturday and he buys a week’s worth of fruit and veg, but he is moving house tomorrow. He told me he and his partner have also been choosing the day of their civil partnership ceremony. They had planned a very small do, but his mum says she would love them to have a big party and will make all the arrangements and foot the bill. So, happiness all round, and Al was pleased too, when he heard. Nothing like a wedding to make everyone smile.

I came home to be told that Tilly the dog was not well and had demonstrated the fact by chundering in several rooms. She quivered and looked scared, but this might have been because she thought she was in trouble. However, her eyes looked small and pained. She seems better now, and accepted a small piece of my potato at dinner. Let’s hope she had only found something unspeakable to eat in the garden.

Back to the shop tomorrow. Neither Jean not Eileen can come in, and two people (Al and Sarah, the Saturday girl) really can’t manage on a Saturday morning. I am becoming absurdly fit and healthy. Well, not fit for much but, you know, comparatively. I think I’ve been accepted as a ‘flying’ member of staff. Kit Kat Connie brought me a kit-kat as well as Eileen, this morning. I haven’t eaten it yet. I bought a Chelsea bun from the bakery and scoffed that in the afternoon. But I will tomorrow.

9 comments on “An extract in the life of Al

  1. martina

    Poor little Tilly. Maybe you can make up some rice with chicken broth-that works for my dogs when they have upset tummies. You don’t want her to get dehydrated and rice is relatively bland on the tummy-the chicken broth/stock adds flavor and liquid.

  2. Imperatrix

    *chunder* is a great word. So much nicer than the “puke” I’m trying to wipe from Trixie’s vocabulary.

    When Zephyr has an episode, I fry up some ground beef and mix it with rice. (Seeing as we’re vegetarian, this I hope proves our love for the dog)

    Hope all under the weather humans and canines feel better tomorrow!

  3. Z

    Oh no, I don’t care for ‘puke’ either. Thanks for the suggestions. Tilly has drunk some water without ill effects so far and she is asleep right now. I’ll do her some rice tomorrow with something gently flavoursome. It takes a lot to put her off her food normally.

  4. Wendz

    No difficulty with coments, but Blogger has been a real pig this week.

    My ex-landlord (the Ex’s current landlord) has a large vegetable garden abutting the Ex’s garden…a veritable feast of vegetables and fruit. The most gorgeous produce I’ve ever seen. In summer they often give me a basket of fresh stuff. Oh their strawberries! And the courgettes! And the lettuce. I could go on and on. Nothing like homegrown.

    I also like ‘chunder’ and shall adopt it henceforth.

  5. Z

    I love to see people’s happy faces as they leave the shop with a colourfully filled basket. Fruit and veg makes them cheerful!

    Chunder comes from ‘watch under’, called by seasick convicts on their way to Australia, who were polite enough not to want to vomit on their fellows on the lower decks. No, really, I’m not making it up.

  6. Anonymous

    Showing my age, I remember the word “chunder” from a song popular in the 1980s called “I come from the land Down Under”. Men at Work was the group I think.

  7. Z

    I remember the song, Anon, hadn’t remembered that word was in it. I wonder if that’s when it came over here, or whether it was Neighbours. Neighbours gave us the unlovely abbreviation Uni, I know. And Arvo.


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