Phoned the bank to check out we had travel insurance.
Having given the wrong security details my call was blocked. A very nice Scottish lad helped me out. Resetting the security number and advising me not to use birthdays or anything sequential I resorted to my mothers Co-op number from 1956…
Then I meditated in the bathroom with a pile of onion and garlic paste plastered on my belly.
Out into the lovely, buttery sunshine and off to PERFECT FIT for a bikini in the sale. I know it shouldn’t be allowed a two-piece at my age but who cares, an old girls got to do what an old girls got to do.
There was a padded ‘nude’ one that was too big, a blue one and a hot number half the price.
The top half – red with a brooch – fitted like a Marilyn Monroe top, that was according to the proprietress.
The bottom half – red with a brooch – looked like a 14 year old boys airtex underpants. They gaped at the back and hung badly.
‘When the water gets into them they’ll get even bigger’ I bemoaned.
‘No they wont.’ said the expert ‘They’ll shrink.’
I bought them anyway wondering about the physics of bikini bottoms. If the bottom part of a bikini shrunk every time you got into the water by the time you got to the end of your holiday they would be but a thong.
I went off to the Post Office, carrying my red bargain, to buy 200 stamps, 100 first class, 100 second class and one loan stamp for a Dining Club that Jim wants to join. I did try telling him that I’m only eating soup at the moment and when I’m not boring myself rancid with mung beans I eat raw. But he said it was an opportunity not to be missed. Who am I to argue with a Northern git. Surprisingly the PO was empty so I went straight to the counter. I tried to make friendly conversation but the Post Mistress was having none of it. She was so miserable even her kaftan looked down in the mouth. I shan’t be going to ‘Cashier Number Three Please.’ again.
Then into the cheap shop for plastic containers.
Into the Supermarket to buy a free range corn-fed chicken, 4 organic carrots, 2 huge tomatoes, 3 big onions, 2 bunches of celery and three little measuring mugs.
Over the road to another cheap shop to buy two more containers. They were cheaper than the other two cheap containers from the other cheaper, cheap shop.
I met three women I haven’t seen in ages, one talked about her daughter who has just come back from dancing on a cruise ship, one talked about her son who is working in Threadneedle Street making a fortune, and the other talked about her son who is a musical protege, he plays everything brilliantly including his organ. I felt like I was in a Mary Wesley novel. By the time I got home the chicken had nearly hatched.
I pulled up two luscious onions and picked a big bunch of parsley from the garden, prepared the rest of the vegetables and put the Jewish Penicillin on at 4.00, packed my case, cleaned the car windows, loaded up the boot and at 7.30, three and a half hours later, I deboned the chicken and decanted the broth into three of the cheap containers. The vegetables into one, the delicious-de-boned-chicken into another and the near perfect broth into a big tall one.
I set off at 8.15 and arrived in Hackney by 10.00. The journey took longer than normal as I had to drive over Tower bridge due to road works in the Blackwall Tunnel. I hadn’t supped my mung beans since six hours earlier so the smell of chicken soup was making me salivate. I drove through the night dribbling as the smell of the unctious potage drifted around my little car, the containers managed to leak some of the soup but that’s what comes of buying cheap…..
I delivered the meal, instructed the daughter to take a mugful every hour so that her chest infection cleared up before our flight on Saturday, and set off for Battersea.
It took 30 minutes to drive through Shoreditch, down past the Tower of London, over Southwark Bridge, round Waterloo, a skiddaddle to Lambeth bridge, back over to the North side, down the Embankment, back to the south side over Battersea Bridge and there was my little flat. all dark and uninviting.
I schlapped all the bags up in the lift, opened my thermos flask of spicy khichadi I had made earlier, sat in front of the computer and cried at the death of my Peace Lily. I phoned the daughter who had bought it for me.
‘My absence and neglect has killed my Peace Lily.’ I moaned.
‘It’s only a plant mum.’ said the daughter as she smacked her chicken souped lips. ‘I’ll buy you a new one.’
I unloaded, made a pot of tea, watched some back dated TV programmes on the i-player and have just remembered I haven’t collected the Post.
Sybil and the ‘oosbind Skyped me, we counted to three and hung up together. He’s still in the cottage farting around with his new ‘Kindle’ electronic book and fiddling around with the computer.
I’m off down the stairs now to my post box. I fear I may end up looking like the Post Mistress back home as I’m expecting last months bills.
Still nowt comes for nowt and if I want to have light, warmth and running water I’d better cough up, which is exactly what my daughter is not doing after her Jewish Penicillin…..