Friday, 27 September 2019

Feeding the multitude, Carrier bags. Appointments. And votes.

Grandma’s cafe opened for breakfast again this morning ... with a vengeance. Over most of the past year my daughter turned up on a Tuesday morning, having dropped the big kids (aka the teenagers) at school, accompanied by her then youngest child for a leisurely breakfast as she did not work on Tuesdays. The summer break, the arrival of a new baby and the start of maternity leave sort of put a stop to it. But today it was reinstated and our daughter, the new baby, the three-year-old who used to be the youngest child and is now a proud big sister, and the older of the big kids, now a sixth-form college student with a study day on a Friday, all arrived for breakfast. It was at a rather later hour than the Tuesday sessions used to be and so Grandad (aka Phil) also joined us. A good time was had by all. I don’t know if is will be a regular Friday event as it is unlikely that the teenager, who today had a doctor’s appointment early, will manage to get herself up early. We shall see!

After breakfast we took a run to the charity shop to drop off the products of my recent wardrobe cull. I didn’t see any vintage bargains as I looked briefly around the stock. Will any of my contributions be regarded as a “find” by charity shop customers? Who knows? Ours is perhaps a step up from some charity shops but it’s hardly full of Versace and Armani bargains.

Heading for the charity shop we had to dodge the rainstorms, an important consideration as my wardrobe cull was mostly in a large paper carrier bag. I had visions of it disintegrating and depositing my rejected wardrobe items all over the village high street. We did, however, get them safely to the shop.

My daughter and I reflected on the use of paper carriers. It’s a common move at the moment to replace plastic carriers with paper ones but some of them seem very flimsy and not very water-resistant. They must be aimed at people who do no more than run from the supermarket door to their car. And yet I remember as a student carrying books and files around in large paper carrier bags, chosen for their occasionally psychedelic prints, and they used to last weeks before finally disintegrating. Did it really rain less in Leeds in the late sixties than in modern day Manchester?

We have recently had “invitations” to make an appointment with out local NHS clinic for a health check. This is what comes of being over 70 . However, it is one thing to invite people to make am appointment. Actually doing so is a different matter altogether. First you have to phone at times when the receptionist is working. Then you have to cross your fingers that your call actually manages to get through the barrier of “the number is busy / unavailable at this time”. And finally you have to go through the “if you want this service press button ... “ challenge. I made it through to speak to a receptionist eventually only to find that these checks only take place on Thursdays. Between days when they are already fully booked and Thursdays when I am busy doing something else, I have managed in the end to book for a Thursday in mid-November. It’s a good job I only want a routine check-up and don’t have an urgent need to see someone medical!

Yesterday I saw the Cambridges on the news. The Duke and Duchess were “working” hard launching a scientific research ship, the Sir David Attenborough. I wonder if Kate ever imagined when she was very young that she would end up doing stuff like that.

There was a once chance that the research ship might have been called Boaty MacBoatface. People were asked to propose names and vote for the final choice. Boaty MacBoatface won the final ballot. 

The people spoke and were over-ruled!

Now there’s a pertinent thought!

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