On Friday morning, I took another load of cr.., I mean goodies, to the charity shop. To be honest, I am beginning to feel embarrassed when I go in. I have visited them nearly every day this week, twice on Wednesday. Yesterday, therefore, I went a little further afield to a charity shop I hadn’t yet visited. I had some heavy stuff in the shopping trolley and more in a plastic bag.
The polite young man led me to the back of the shop. Dumping the plastic bag was easy, getting stuff out of the trolley less so. I had put it in a bin bag to make extraction easier. The polite young man held the trolley bag down and I heaved and heaved until the bin bag came out. Inevitably, it began to split and I had to put my hand under it to stop everything falling out. The deed done, I made good my escape.
Tigger arrived home from work at 1 pm. By now I was beginning to feel a twinge in the area of my left shoulder blade. Being a bloke, I dismissed it, of course. We had lunch and a little rest and then changed into our dusty work clothes. I put on a hat for good measure to keep the dust out of my hair. We retired to the back room and I prepared to mount the step ladder to clear the top of the wardrobe.
By now the twinge was more painful. If I sneezed, as we did frequently in the dusty atmosphere, it definitely hurt. Even breathing deeply was painful. Being a bloke, I persevered, of course. We cleared the top of the wardrobe and started on the big bookcase. There was also a lot of shredding to do as reams of personal material came to light.
At last I admitted the pain in my back that was making fetching and carrying painful (not to mention breathing and sneezing). Tigger got me to lie face down on the bed and proceeded to rub, poke and pummel my back. I took a couple of paracetamol for good measure and returned to work. Being a bloke, I wasn’t going to give in, of course. Besides, I’d heard that modern advice on back pain is to keep active instead of lying in.
The hours passed. The back garden now contains so many black bin bags full of rubbish that I cannot imagine how they ever fitted into the flat. We put some stuff out in the front garden. By the time we went out for a meal later, most of it had gone: those invisible garden fairies again.
The work of sorting (“Keep… bin… charity shop…”) fell to Tigger while I kept her supplied with ammunition in between sessions plying the shredder. Time passed… and more time passed. I cast an expert eye over the area remaining to be processed, mentally calculating how much time it would take. “What if,” I suggested tentatively, “we do this little lot,” (pointing) “and call it a day?”
“After all,” I continued with characteristic humanity, “I don’t want you to over-do it and not want to continue tomorrow.”
“I’ve got to that point already,” replied Tigger a touch testily.
“Fine, fine, finish what you’re working on and we’ll quit for today.”
We had yet another cup of tea and lay on the bed. “I suppose I’d better think about supper,” said Tigger after a while. And then…
“Do you think we could go out to eat? I think we deserve it.”
So we took the road to Pane Vino (getting to be a bit of a habit, isn’t it?) where I had a cheese omelette and Tigger a tasty pasta dish. We dillied, we dallied, but eventually the time came to pay and go home.
To my pleased surprise, on the way Tigger proposed to continue the work again. So we did. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” remarked Tigger at last.
It was midnight by the time we crawled into bed with the happy feeling that we would have to start all over again the next day…