Don’t go by train on a Sunday

I wasn’t proud or independent, but I was practical. I looked up what work is due to be done on the railway line next Sunday. The travelling to be done by bus doubled the length of the journey to nearly three hours each way. This is absurd. It meant that Al and Dilly would spend more time on the train than in London. So I am coming up alone after all – there’s some bus travel on the Saturday too, but not for quite so long and service is normal on Monday. So what I’m going to do is clean the flat on Saturday evening – I trust it’ll have been left clean, but you have to clean it yourself to be quite sure, don’t you? – do the painting on Sunday, do something else on Sunday – probably go to an exhibition, I haven’t looked to see what’s on yet – go and do the second coat of paint and it’ll either give me Monday morning free or time to sort out any problems.

I’ll be sleeping on the floor. I’m too old to sleep on floors, but I’m too cheap to book into a hotel when I’ve got the prospect of another bill from the agency. Odd, the way one’s mind works, isn’t it? If I was having a jolly few days in Town, I’d stay in a nice hotel and not think about the bill, but because it’s working in an empty flat, I think it’ll be far too indulgent to stay in the cheapest dive. Though mind you, I suppose I could have a look and see what’s available. It does rather make me ache to think about it.

In other news, Al got stung on the forehead by a bee yesterday and, since there’s nowhere much to swell on the forehead, he found that this morning his left eye had swollen shut. He went to help Eileen set up shop and came home again, but now both eyes are thoroughly swollen and he can’t see. He says he feels fine and he’s taken anti-histamines, and promises to go to the doctor if he feels ill, breathless or just ‘wrong’. But I can’t take over the shop this afternoon as I’ve got an appointment, so it’ll have to be closed unless he’s a lot better in two hours time. The Sage will help Eileen shut up shop – Al can’t do that if he can’t open his eyes.

15 comments on “Don’t go by train on a Sunday

  1. Dave

    In a real emergency one could always call on me. I did have a Saturday job in a motorbike shop 40 years ago – it can’t be much different, can it?

  2. Z

    Not as long as you can manage an electronic till and instantly convert ounces to grammes in your head (people always ask for things in ounces and pounds but they’re weighed in kilos).

    Fortunately, tomorrow Al will be home anyway, as Dilly is teaching and he will look after Pugsley – it’s his house-husband day.

  3. Blue Witch

    Yes, the trains down that line are legendary for the amount of weekend work necessitated, aren’t they?

    Anaphalactic shock with bee stings is instant. It won’t come on after a few hours. Tell Al he’ll get used to stings in odd places and eventually won’t react to them at all. Or otherwise, that he’ll react progressively more and won’t be able to keep bees any more. We’ve always found that the old-style anti-histamines are best – Piriton (but the original one, not any of the new-fangled varieties they seem to want to foist on you these days).

    Personally if the flat wasn’t left clean enough, I’d call one of those agencies who do cleaning, and take the cost out of his deposit, I wouldn’t be doing it myself!

  4. Ad

    Wise words from BW, Z. providing the costs were requried, fair and reasonable. A cheap clear lilo is light enough to carry and small enough to blow up. I would n’t like to think your head had been that close to where outdoor shoes had been worn, certainly pre-cleaning…

  5. Dave

    ‘manage an electronic till and instantly convert ounces to grammes’

    Ah, there you have two factors that one didn’t encounter in a motorbike shop 40 years ago.

    I could deliver orders though, if you supplied me with a motorbike.

  6. Z

    Thanks BW -it’s the third sting he’s had and this time, because he had the children with him, he was anxious to get them well away in case other bees came along (they weren’t near the hive but the bees were active in the sunny weather) and so he wasn’t able to get the sting out until all the venom had gone in.

    He assures me the flat will be clean, but I will still go over it all with a damp cloth to be sure – I can’t get a cleaner in until I know it needs it. I have got a foam mat to lie on, but even on an air bed, inflated by electric pump, I can’t say I was comfortable last time. I can’t bear to take it again, it weighed a ton even in a suitcase on wheels. I’ll manage, it’s good for me.

    Dave, I hardly know what to say.

  7. Blue Witch

    Ah – always scrape a sting out with a fingernail straight away (start at the sting entry point and scrape back across the skin in the direction the sting went in), and then either smoke it with the smoker or rub it with a smelly leaf to ensure the alarm pheromone in the venom is disguised and doesn’t attract other bees. But I expect he knows that. From his blog he seems to have read all the books. Although bees don’t/can’t make sugar syrup into honey, as he said last autumn… That often makes me chuckle when I think of it 🙂

  8. martina

    Baking soda/water paste on the sting will relieve a lot of the pain. Benadryl can help too. It sounds like the bee just got him in a very sensitive area. Poor Al!
    Have you thought of buying one of those Aerobed things for when you go check on the flat? They aren’t very expensive and apparently are easy to inflate.

  9. Z

    Yes, he has given me various snippets of advice – after all, the beehive is not far from us either. Getting out of the sightline of the beehive, things like that. Squiffany started crying and they were worried she’d been stung too, and Pugsley was there getting anxious, so he and Dilly whisked them away first.

    Once my dog Chester was stung on the tongue by a bee – I had to hold his tongue still while I scraped out the sting. Not the easiest thing!

    He says it doesn’t hurt, it’s just that he’s got a perfectly smooth forehead and strangely bulging eye-sockets with closed eyes!

    I’ll try the foam thing first and see if it’s a possibility. It’s hard for me to find time to go shopping outside Yagnub so I manage without if I can.

  10. PI

    I’m a worry guts so I’d get him looked at. And do think twice about sleeping on the floor. It just isn’t worth it – especially as you have lots to do.

  11. Z

    He’s getting better, Pat. As BW says, if he’d been going to have a reaction it would have been at once. The doctor would have recommended anti-histamines, bathing the eyes and waiting for it to go away, which is what he did anyway.

  12. Z

    It’s the stings in odd places that did it, isn’t it? Not to mention Dave on his motorbike – do you have a mental picture of him wearing one of those old-fashioned leather flying helmet thingies with flaps? And there’s the thought of me holding a dog’s tongue.

    Mind you, you should have seen the confession I wrote in Belgian Waffle’s comment box not long ago.

    You are truly kind and lovely, but I’ve already taken advantage of that too much when you came and painted the flat for me. Thank you though.

  13. Dandelion

    Well, quite. I knew you would know the things that made me chuckle.

    If you change your mind, you have my number. I wouldn’t offer if it was any trouble. Well, I might, but it isn’t.


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