I stood in at the shop for a couple of hours this afternoon as Al had an appointment – it was fun. I was pretty busy – no time to sit down at all, no more than a minute without a customer and several people I knew, which is always a pleasure.
Nada (a prize for the first to work out why she was given that name, which is her real one) came in. “I saw you at Snape on Saturday didn’t I?” I said. She had been sitting with friends having dinner when I spotted her. We chatted about the concerts. Then she asked me if I’d watch University Challenge this evening. I said I probably would and told her that it was one of my favourite programmes when I was a child (yes really, Huckleberry Hound and University Challenge pretty well sum up my childhood viewing) and that Bamber Gascoigne was my earliest heartthrob (I was about 8 probably) and she confided happily that her grandson is the captain of one of the teams. “You must know who won! – I won’t ask” “I wouldn’t tell you” she returned happily. After she left, I remembered that I was going out to a meeting at 7 o’clock so I’ve recorded it, so that I can say I thought he was marvellous when I next see her.
I made a quick detour to the wine merchant’s on the way home. I’d drunk all but the good white. I bumped into a friend walking her dog. We exchanged brief notes on the families. I asked how she is – “oh, fine, but isn’t getting old a bugger? I’m not old enough to have all these aches and pains.” She said she has a bad back – indeed, she was walking stiffly. And her hands are getting arthritic. I could see when she held them out, they’re starting to become crooked. She can’t open jars and hasn’t much strength in them. She’s a bit older than me, but not that much. It’s true, it’s all a bugger. We feel the same as we used to and she still is absolutely beautiful, but age is hitting her early.
I got a spam email this morning in the name of a friend. I didn’t open the attachments of course, and emailed sympathetically to tell her about it. I had a reply saying ‘grrr’, basically – it’s beastly when your email and mailing list is hijacked, isn’t it? She was wondering why I haven’t written for ages. I’ve no excuse. If I don’t reply to a letter at once, it hangs over me like an impenetrable pall. I’m wondering whether to point her in this direction, so at least she knows what’s going on in the life of Z, but I’m a bit shy of it. Ro’s friend Zain found me, and when Ro saw him at the weekend, he knew more about my doings than Ro did…if you’re reading this, Zain, have a great holiday.
I came down in price as far as I could, but the nice young couple couldn’t afford the flat. Oh bother. I’ll have to pay a fortune to a letting agent instead. I’d rather have knocked it off their rent – we weren’t far apart in the end, but top and bottom lines didn’t equate, unfortunately.
Anyway, I’m sorry I came over all peculiar this morning. It was one of those posts that shouldn’t have seen the light of day.