Today has sort of slipped away. To begin with there was torrential rain. I lay in bed listening to it and for the first time in ages and ages opted to stay in bed and simply listen to the rain. That didn’t last too long but I chickened outt of going for a run round the village in the rain and wind. Instead I got up and spent some time on the rowing machine and doing a bit of yoga. Indoor exercise! Probably not enough for my bossy Fitbit to even recognise as exercise.
Late in morning I got myself together - mask, keys, purse, phone, something to read, list of errands I wanted to complete and, an important item which has been unused for over a year, my bus pass - to go into Manchester city centre. I have an appointment with my city centre-based hairdresser on Tuesday and they have brought in a new requirement: if you have not had your hair dyed in the last three months you must have a skin test a couple of days beforehand. According to my daughter, just about all hairdressers are setting up this requirement. Fear of being sued if someone reacts badly to the hair colouring must be pushing their hand. Maybe there is a theory that Covid, or the vaccine, or simply not visiting the hairdresser for the best part of a year has made us all ultra-sensitive.
So I took myself off to the bus stop and caught a bus to the tram stop just outside Oldham town centre. It was all quite civilised, everyone masked and sitting at intervals on the seats designated. The tram was a little less well organised - no indication of seats not to be used, just a reliance on good will, I suppose. A couple of Transport for Greater Manchester tram police got on a couple of stations along, not checking tickets and passes but scanning round for use of masks and reminding people, even occasionally handing out masks from their supply. All was well.
Manchester was not too crowded, although when I left mid- to late-afternoon it was beginning to get busier. I took the opportunity to visit a few places and pick up supplies: Boots the Chemist, Bodyshop, the health food shop, to name a few. I also picked up a few bits of craft materials . I intend to introduce my penfriend-granddaughter to the concept of unbirthday presents by sending her something to make. After that I was ready to catch the next tram heading through Oldham.
According to the notice on the tram station display a tram for Rochdale was “approaching”, but it seemed to be at snail’s pace as the approach took a good 5 minutes, even though we could see it in the distance. This tram was rather fuller than the one I travelled into Manchester on but everything was OK. Mind you, everyone studiously ignored the notice to KEEP THE WINDOWS OPEN. Too wet and cold for fresh air!
I arrived at Oldham Mumps tram station just in time to see my connecting bus sail through the traffic lights and on its way to Delph ... without me! How very annoying! Faced with a half hour wait, I set off to walk a few stops. Oldham Mumps bus and tram interchange is a bleak and miserable place at the best of times. Some ten or fifteen minutes later, I was standing at a bus stop when I heard my name being called. My daughter and partner and the small people were out and about, preparing to call in at McDonalds and then a chippy and had spotted me waiting. So I had a ride home after all, with fish and chips for Phil and me as well.
There is nothing quite so sophisticated - or should that be decadent? - as fish and chips with a nice glass of chilled white wine!
Labour seems to have fared better in mayoral elections than in others. Perhaps we should hand leadership of the party over to Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan. But steps appear to being taken to try to improve matters generally. Angela Rayner looks like being one of the blame hounds, sacked from her role as chair of the party and campaign manager. They say she will be offered another role. Is she still too left-leaning to do well? We shall see!
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!