Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Venturing out. Returning home. Trying (without success) to meet Testa and Trace deadlines. Tomorrow is another day!

I ventured into Manchester centre today. Because I was setting off before 9.30 I had to pay for my bus ride to Oldham Mumps where I was catching the tram. £4.50 it cost me! For a 15 minute bus ride! Goodness! No wonder people complain about the cost of public transport! The bus was fairly empty, as was the tram, for which I didn’t have to pay as by the time ai reached the interchange I was no longer a “twirly” (too early to use my bus pass). Most of the bus users were older people and most of them wore masks. On the tram platform was a notice saying you could be fined £200 for travelling unmasked. Most of us wore our masks. 

Central Manchester was not terribly busy when I arrived there. It was relatively early on a Tuesday morning, after all. I was going to the hairdresser’s and I wanted to visit a couple of shops before my appointment.

I was quite pleased to discover one of my favourite stationers, PaperChase, which closed many of its premises during lockdown, has resurrected in the Arndale Centre, on the spot where Thornton’s, who also closed down during lockdown, used to have one of their shops. This PaperChase was a pale copy of its larger predecessor but it was nice to see it trying to get going again. My daughter and granddaughters and I have often enjoyed visiting the store - we are stationery freaks!

On Sunday, when the gang came round for coffee, Phil distributed his over-large collection of notebooks - small ones, slightly larger ones, lined and squared - to the girls. Delight and excitement ensued. As I said already, stationery freaks!

My hairdressing appointment completed, a certain amount of shopping done, I headed for home. We had Covid 19 tests to complete and post, following the test and trace call we had received on Sunday. The tests had arrived on Monday but I had a zoom Italian conversation class which prevented us completing the tests and getting them to the post office in time. The  today I had my hairdressing appointment, but i was trying hard to get home in tIme. Test and Trace have been sending us reminders! 

The tram was full, with few mask wearers, despite the threat of fines. For once the tram and bus connection worked out well. As a rule the bus leaves just as I get off the tram, leaving me with a half hour wait, but today I just had to wait a few minutes. The bus was full of secondary school children, mostly maskless but almost all busy on their phones 

In the end, when I got home, we registered our intention to test but decided we could not get to the post office in time today. So we have stated our intention to complete the tests at 1.00pm tomorrow. I hope it all goes well. I can barely see my tonsils, so swabbing them without swabbing my tongue in the process is not going to be easy. We shall see. Such are modern times!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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