Yesterday was a quiet day. It also had a strange out-of-kilter feeling to it. This is because Tigger is working a later shift than usual for a couple of days. Instead of doing my usual routine, hardly glancing at the clock, I now have to keep looking at the clock and mentally subtracting two hours in order to know what I am supposed to be doing. This induces a strange sense of unreality.
Thursday is nail day. I scrub off the old polish (noting that the current brand stands up very well to life’s vicissitudes) and carefully apply a new lot. Black is unforgiving: make a mistake and it shows up. I don’t worry too much if the polish strays over the edge of the nail onto the skin here and there. This is because it doesn’t stick very well to the skin and soon disappears after a few hand-washes. Also, people notice little blips and blemishes much less than you do yourself.
Next up was lunch. I usually (well, always) have cheese sandwiches unless, of course, it’s Friday. I always have Marmite on my cheese sandwiches but found we had run out of Marmite. “I can survive without Marmite,” I kept telling myself. I spread the cheese thickly with mustard instead, a bit like a coke head desperately sniffing talcum powder, perhaps.
I needed to do some shopping – Marmite, for one thing – so off I went after lunch. The first stop was Superdrug in Chapel Market to buy some Quickies. In case you don’t know, Quickies are wipes or cleaning pads for removing nail varnish. They are excellent. The only thing is that once you open the foil wrapper, the wipes begin to dry out because the box isn’t really air-tight, so I keep the box in a resealable plastic food bag. That’s today’s Tip of the Day.
Then next to Sainsbury. Sainsbury infuriates me. They are unreliable: they tend to wait until they have run out of a product before they order more and this leaves empty shelves. Predictably, the missing product is always the one you made a special trip to buy. Even if they have the goods in the storeroom, it takes a couple of days for them to appear on the shelves. So why go there? Unfortunately, it’s the only local supermarket and we are therefore captive customers, unless we stop off at Tesco across from Liverpool Street Station on the way home.
Having collected my few purchases – yes, they actually had everything! – I made my way to the check-out. I looked for the shortest queue but as I moved towards it, someone with a full trolley slipped in first. Then I remembered that as I had only a few items, I could go to the quick queue. I got there just ahead of a woman with a pushchair who shoved it against my heels, whether in spite or by accident, I don’t know. When it was my turn, it was also the pushchair wielder’s turn at the till next to mine, giving her the opportunity to have another go at my heels. She did say “Sorr-eee!” this time but I maintained a lofty and disapproving silence. I bet that made her feel bad about herself, eh?
Why not use the self-checkout, you might ask? This might be slightly more pleasant than dealing with the grumpy cashier to whom I was allotted but on the few occasions I have used it, it has gone wrong. “Item not recognized”, “Unexpected item in the bagging area” and not being able to recognize valid notes of the realm are the sorts of error that I meet. There is a complacent assistant who comes bustling over to help when things go wrong and, of course, the machine behaves impeccably for her.
Having dumped the goods at home I was on time to go and fetch Tigger from work, collecting free newspapers on the way for their sudoku puzzles.
I don’t usually travel at this hour (5:15) and found the tube unpleasantly full. I did my usual trick of waiting for the next train, but it didn’t help. There were just too many people on the move. At Bank, I had to get off to let people out and then fight my way on again. Common courtesy is suspended during peak periods.
Coming home by bus was slightly more pleasant. Though the little single-door 214 was crowded and we were sitting some way back, a lot of people got off at our stop making it easier to disembark.
Home in time for tea. Well, that’s not difficult, is it, as it’s always time for tea.