It’s nice to receive calls or emails from friends expressing their concern when things go wrong. So here’s thanking those thoughtful friends who got in touch about Sidney’s illness. Their concern is much appreciated.
Yesterday we received news that Sidney had had something to eat. Having seen him the day before prostrate and conscious only for brief moments, this seems a remarkable advance but at the same time it is in tune with the character of the man who is always quietly determined to get on with things.
On the theme of creeping domestication, we have been experimenting with online grocery shopping. We were in the habit of dragging the shopping trolley round to Sainsbury’s on a Sunday morning after a cafe breakfast. This works well enough but just lately we have had so much to do that it has been difficult to fit in a shopping run.
We have tried two firms so far, Tesco and Sainsbury. Our first order came from Tesco and was delivered to the door with snappy efficiency well within the allocated time slot. We had already bought other items from Tesco Online and I had been impressed with their service. For example, we ordered some plastic crates and when we unpacked them, one was broken. I called customer services, expecting an argument. There was none. In a trice, they arranged to deliver a new crate and to collect the broken one at the same time. Impression: highly favourable.
We have had three deliveries from Sainsbury so far. The first was a textbook example. It arrived well within the time slot and was delivered by a pleasant and courteous gentleman who, as this was our first delivery, explained the system to us. All items were as ordered except for a couple of substitutions. Impression: highly favourable.
The second order arrived late but the van driver did call us to say he was held up in the traffic, so I was happy to accept the order. Again, everything was present and correct, with a couple of substitutions, but this driver was less forthcoming about details and I had to prompt him for information.
We had arranged our third order – a large one in advance of the festive season – for last Wednesday between 8 and 9 pm. We hadn’t known at the time of ordering that we would be going down to Margate so we had to think hard what to do. In the end, we decided to let the order stand and try to get back home in time.
We arrived home at 7:30 pm and settled down to wait. I had forgotten that I had switched my phone to “Silent” in the hospital and thus didn’t realize I had had a call. At 9:15 pm I decided to phone customer services to ask where our order was. It was then that I realized they had left me a message asking me to phone them. It turned out that the van driver had had a serious traffic accident and his deliveries had been cancelled. This was a nuisance, given that we had come back especially, but it is hardly Sainsbury’s fault and they arranged to deliver the next day in the same time slot.
I brought the stuff indoors and remarked to Tigger that given the price, the amount of goods seemed rather small. Tigger checked it all off against the bill. Half of it was missing. Customer services had some trouble putting me through to the online sales department and when they managed it, my line dropped. Ho hum.
When Sainsbury’s at last got in touch, they explained that the van driver had left part of our order in the fridge. Maybe they need to send him for retraining. They were suitably apologetic and arranged to deliver the remainder tonight between 8 and 9 pm. I will reserve judgement until then.
In the meantime, it is Friday again, with the weekend in hot pursuit. It’s amazing how fast the time is flying past these days. Barely have we eaten our omelette at the Court Cafe when we are ordering another one. At least we have no time to be bored.
Late breaking news
We received two messages today concerning Sidney’s health. The first said that he had recovered sufficiently to be asking for cheese. That amused us because it was so typical!
The second said that he is being discharged from hospital this afternoon and returning to the nursing home where he normally resides. Amazing news!