Update from my friend in the Midlands supermarket: things are relatively calm, there, for now, but apparently their stocks of air fresheners and scented candles are flying off the shelves as soon as they arrive, along with toilet cleaners and unblockers. (My apologies if you are reading this while eating. Bon appetit!) I think we can all do the maths for that one. I wonder what the next big thing will be…
In fact, I think I already know the answer (waves hand in air). Earplugs. The days are warmer and one’s delightful neighbours are using their outside space a lot more. (Ours are outside with their children for most of every day now. I pray for rain so that I can get out there and enjoy our garden in peace… oh, wait.)
Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’m trying out new earplugs. I already use small foam ones that expand gently in your ear. I use these for deadening the sounds of my dear OH’s farmyard-style snoring at night, and they usually work pretty well for that, but these new ones are supposed to work on a much deeper level. They are made from titanium, are tiny, and come with foam heads in three different sizes.
Anyway. Lesson number one: it’s best not to keep them in while eating. Whatever it is, it will sound as though you are munching on boulders. It’s most disconcerting and off-putting, although it could also turn into a brilliant weight-loss aid! You read it here first. You will get used to the sound of your own breathing and heartbeat, as well, I promise.
Apparently, Amazon have already sold out of them, but I ordered them elsewhere and, if anybody wants the link, I’m happy to forward it to them privately. The price is reduced at the moment, as well – an added incentive for some!
After yesterday’s excitement at discovering such a lovely new walk, we had a much shorter outing today – yes, you’ve guessed it – round the block. We passed our local antiques dealer sitting in his shop doorway. He said he’d come in to do some furniture polishing, or he’d go insane. I have several antiques dealer friends with their own businesses and I’m really hoping they will be able to ride this out.
The nearby florists were open and my morbid mind immediately turned to funeral flowers; not surprisingly, given the very powerful scent of lilies wafting from the open doorway. I imagine they might be rather busy right now.
In the newsagents, where I bought a TV magazine and the OH bought an ice-cream, the assistant said cash would be most helpful, as everyone was paying by card. I thought that was the general idea?! Then an older man, obviously a regular customer, and also obviously a heck of a lot fitter than he looked, wanted something from one of the higher shelves behind the counter. He said to the middle-aged, female assistant: “Would it help if I lifted you up?” I thought he was joking – doesn’t he know there’s a war on?! – but, no; he went behind the counter and lifted her up. It beggars belief.
As we weren’t doing any serious shopping today, I didn’t take my bag with me. Just my keys, phone, a tissue and some throat sweets for my permanently dry throat, in my two trouser pockets. It made me feel light and free, and I realised that men must feel like this all the time, every single day! Of course, it wouldn’t work for me if I was venturing further afield. There’s my pen and notebook, make-up, comb, reading glasses, sunglasses (seasonal only), contact lens container and eye drops, plasters, wipes, hand cream, headache tablets, tissues, aforementioned throat sweets, mobile phone charger, wallet and change purse. In a separate tote-bag, I carry a book to read on the train, my music player and ear-plugs, a fold-up brolly and at least one plastic carrier bag for any impulse shopping moments.
At work, I felt like a pack-horse every day, as I lugged all of the above, plus books and manuscripts back and forth, and, if it were raining, a change of shoes or boots – all my footwear lets in water, even if the makers claim they don’t! A friend recommended keeping a change of clothes and shoes at the office, but she clearly led a much more hedonistic lifestyle than mine and, in any case, that was in the halcyon days before we were all reduced to the charade of hot-desking, with one tiny locker each. Don’t get me started!
Right – it’s back to trying out the new earplugs. It’s early days (they only turned up this afternoon), but here’s hoping. I’ll keep you posted…