You see? The title is so much more interesting than the post will ever be.
It was really foggy this morning, and very cold. I was struck by the beauty of the frozen cobwebs draped on the bushes and car mirrors. Al tried to start his van, but the battery became less and less willing to respond and eventually, with an apologetic cough, it expired.
He had to go to Norwich this morning. He wondered, hopefully, if he’s insured to drive my car? Unfortunately not. I used to have fully comprehensive insurance, but now only three named drivers are permitted, which is inconvenient when I’ve got six people I’d like to insure. So I offered to drive him. We don’t spend much time together, it’d be a pleasure.
The reason for the trip is the new bank charges he was going to have to pay. With his tiny shop, he’d be paying £800 in a year for nothing much. He’s always in credit, and the bulk of it is to pay over cash, which he has counted already. So he rang his wholesalers and asked if it would be all right to pay his monthly bills in cash. They didn’t mind. So, clutching two bags of money, he enjoyed the luxury of my nice car instead of his Postman Pat van and I took him over. After a while, he got out his phone and worked a few figures out. “You know, I’m saving £45 in bank charges today” he remarked. I was astonished. The last month has been one of the least busy of the year (this is normal for January, February and November) and it seemed a lot of money.
The fog lasted for the first five miles, and then the sun started to break through. We went to deliver the two lots of cash, and then picked up a new bed for Pugsley – yes, he’s going to leave his cot and have a big boy’s bed. He’s not 18 months old yet, he is so little…
The sun was shining so brightly that I was dazzled and had to put on sunglasses. But then, in the space of about 50 yards, it all changed. We were back into thick fog. I took off my glasses and turned on the car’s headlights. Thia change happened several times more in the next half hour and we arrived home in fog again, after 12.30 pm.
The Sage was interested in something on eBay, but he’s a little excitable on the computer, so I tap the keys for him. He’d already put on what I thought was a high price, and I had to leave before the sale would end. What would his final bid be? He hedged and didn’t say. Finally, I had to go. “Put on another £100” he said. “Another £100?” “Oh, I won’t have to pay it.” “You’re barking, darling,” I said, tapping at the keys. “Oh” he said, in a hurt voice. He had momentarily forgotten that, from me, that is by no means an insult.
He bought the item, but had to pay full whack. After returning from my appointment, I went to Harleston and bought three pairs of shoes. I spend almost exactly half the cost of his frippery. However, I wasn’t in competition. And I like a little exuberant extravagance in a chap, once in a while. Frivolity is what matters.