Z’s home again

I took an internet break, in the main, being on holiday.  You didn’t miss me too terribly much, darlings, did you?  Let’s see, what did I do?…

On Friday, I went to have coffee with Bod (see the side panel, if you’re puzzled) who is rather more constrained in his activities since his mother had an accident some three years ago and needs full-time care.  They’re both well, though and it was good to see them and have a chat.  Then to lunch in Shaftesbury with Wink and I did a bit of shopping afterwards and then headed back to Wink’s house.  I unlocked the door, unpacked my shopping, which took a few trips and there was a card on the mat saying there was a package to pick up at the Post Office.  I reckoned I’d do that for her, but wasn’t sure how large it was (I’d done as much the previous day and it was BIG) so decided to take the car. ‘I must remember to pick up the key again from the kitchen table,’ I thought.

Darlings, can I remind you, as if you need reminding, that thinking that you must do something isn’t quite the same as actually doing it?  I realised soon after shutting the door.  I went to the Post Office anyway and came back, thinking that some sort of miracle just might have happened and I hadn’t dropped the latch after all, or the window might be open or her neighbour might have a key.  If only I were Roman Catholic, miracles might happen – but no.  It was only 3 o’clock, so I decided to go back and borrow Wink’s.

Now, I thought I wouldn’t mention this and just give the impression I’d not picked up a key that morning.  But the temptation to tell a story against myself was too much – it’s always funnier that way, isn’t it?  More fun to be in the wrong than in the right, to give in gracefully than insist on being right, to laugh at yourself and feel people warm to you (look, darlings, I can always hope) and not be pompous – so I told the tale and laughed with Wink and her colleagues.  I hadn’t got any change for the car park so had popped into a shop for some tea – but there was a traffic warden, writing in his book.  I trotted up to him remorsefully.  “I didn’t have change, sorry…you’re going to give me a ticket, aren’t you?” The lovely young man said I was in time, if I bought a ticket straight away.  Hands trembling, i fished out my nice red leather purse (bought on holiday, I like a memento in daily use) and bought the ticket and brandished it.  He put away his book and I thanked him.  “You’re very kind.”  “No probs,” he said.

Frankly, had he not been there, would I have bought the ticket?  Um.  Probably, actually.  35p, worth not being in the wrong.

On Saturday, we went to see Dodo, who is now 101, still lives in her own home, has every one of her marbles counted and in place and still reads the paper (The Guardian and the Dorset Echo) and books (archy and mehitabel is a favourite) but is slightly deaf.  She can hear every word I say, however.  I’m good with deaf people, which is another way of saying I have a very carrying voice.  Wink and I love Dodo, we will be dreadfully sad when she dies.  When the time comes, I hope it will be sudden and not painful, so only a shock to her many friends and no distress to her.

On the way home, we called in at Lidl and I bought rye bread, smoked salmon and various other stuff for canapés (with thanks to BW, I now won’t bother with blini, though I do like making them it’s nice to save the time) and then I cooked a pheasant casserole for lunch the next day.  I insisted.  I’m still cooking compulsively, I don’t know when this will end.

On Sunday, Wink’s friends Bob and Elizabeth came for lunch.  They have both just had birthdays, I am not sure how far into their 90s they are, but they have also just had their 67th wedding anniversary.  They left after lunch and so did I.  A Sunday afternoon is one of the best times to travel – apart from a queue that allowed me to enjoy the view of Stonehenge, I travelled at the speed limit all the way home and the journey took less than four hours, which hasn’t happened for years.  And Russell cooked dinner, perfectly, which was jolly good.

Weeza’s in-laws are coming this weekend rather than Christmas, so we’re spending that day over there as well as this Sunday afternoon.  So sociable – marvellous.

Today, I’ve mostly been back down to earth.  An 8 am meeting lasted until 12.30, when I pleaded another appointment (a haircut and manicure, darlings, only my second manicure in my whole life) and then a governors’ training session on Raise online.  This is an acronym: Reporting and Analysis through School Self-Evaluation.  Yes, exactly.  Tonight, my brain is on life support.  I hoped for full recovery until I sneezed hugely several times.  Now, I’m wondering how many brain cells have wafted into the atmosphere, never to be recovered.  Forgetting that key – pfft.  I’ve got a terrible memory so have to be very careful.  It’s no good just accepting you forget or lose things, you have to resolve to do better, or it’s the start of a very slippery slope.  I don’t think I left anything behind this time…

11 comments on “Z’s home again

  1. Z Post author

    Thank you, Mike. Yes, Russell decided years ago that he didn’t want to go on holiday again, although I always invited him to come with me. He rather likes having the place to himself, I think.

  2. 63mago

    You describe the hope for a “miracle” very well – I react in a similar way.
    I read the miracle sentence in your post two or three times as: ” If only I were Roman Catholic, miracles might happen – but no, it was only 3 o’clock.”

  3. Scarlet

    I hate forgetting my keys. My favourite front door was one I had to lock behind me before wandering off anywhere… so then I know I will always have my keys.
    I have never had a manicure. Not ever.

  4. nick

    Traffic wardens can be absolutely ruthless. I still remember an incident some years ago when I got a ticket for parking too close to a road junction. I had no idea that parking within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction was illegal. And what really annoyed me was that all the other cars parked too close to the junction were ticket-free! Grrrr!

  5. PixieMum

    I agree about not risking a parking ticket, went to the cinema with a girl friend, we parked at 6.10pm, car park was free from 6.30 but we decided to pay the 80 pence for an hour, especially as there had been an international rugby match in Twickenham that day, this car park is within walking distance of the ground and Richmond is alive with Traffic Wardens all the time. I would still have paid, hate pay and display as have fear I won’t return in the allotted time so tend to go to car parks where one pays on exit.

    Glad you are back safe and well refreshed.

  6. Z Post author

    John, you’re the chap who buys me lunch – I’m not forgetting that!

    LZM, my first was in India, I had the full Monty – manicure, pedicure, full body massage, which I received from two women … it was weird, feeling four hands on me! I’ve been growing my nails assiduously for three months, time to celebrate.

    Nick, they can be, when I went to the warden and spoke he didn’t reply, so I assumed I was getting a ticket. Very relieved – but I was only five minutes anyway, I was quite unlucky that he turned up in that time.

    There’s a cinema in Norwich, the only one that doesn’t validate your car park ticket, where some films start at 6.15. Overnight parking rates start at 6.30. So, arriving at 6, you pay for an hour, then for overnight which is two hours’ worth. I can’t tell you how much I resent that extra! Traffic wardens target car parks just before the free or reduced period, you’re right to stump up.

  7. mig

    I used to forget my keys often enough to be embarrassing but since I put a spare set in my bag I don’t think I ever have.
    I offered to buy a parking ticket recently when the warden was there and I’d forgotten, and he let me off. Nice man : )
    It was so lovely to see you xxx


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