Tuesdays follow a regular and predictable pattern and today was no exception. By the time we were up and breakfasted and our daily newspaper collected, we made common party with three of our Waitrose regulars. I suspect that we all look forward to this chat and discussion of common problems and we generally have a good laugh, one way or another. Today, I was reminding them of a couple of stories from our Manchester days when I found myself in the office of the Professor of Surgery at Manchester University. To this day, I do not know and cannot remember how I bypassed the rest of the NHS systems and bureaucracy but the point of this story is that the estemmed professor operated on a lump in my neck and missed by over an inch. When confronted with the evidence, some weeks later, I was advised to go away and forget all about it which I did. But the next time I bumped into the Professor was when I was a census enumerator and he was ‘on my patch’ living in a large villa overlooking Platt Fields park in Manchester. The story that did the rounds was the fact that the Professor had large and alcohol fuelled dinner parties where a dozen people or more would be seated around a large dining table. During the course of a dinner, the Professor’s pet monkey was apt to swing from a chandelier over the table, urinating in long trails across the dinner table. If guests remonstrated with the Professor, they were informed that the monkey’s urine was biologically pure and would do them no harm so they should just carry on and enjoy the rest of the dinner. I am just recounting the story that I heard from more than one source but can honestly attest that I was not actually a witness to the events in question but why should people lie about such a thing? After we took our leave of each other, Meg and I did a little shopping in Waitrose and then returned home so that I could get changed into my Pilates gear. I walked down into town leaving some five minutes earlier than usual so that I could call in at an ATM for some living money. Then I popped into a stationers and bought a couple of erasable biros which the website I was consulting yesterday informed me was the best way to write out your own musical scores. I then popped into our local Age Concern used furniture shop and within seconds found exactly the thing that I had set my heart upon which was a specialised piano stool – the sort with the lid which lifts up so that you can store your music inside. When I enquired about the price, they were a little nonplussed within the store as this item had only been donated literally a few minutes before I walked in. Hence they did not have a chance to do the sort of consultations to put a price upon the stool and they then then informed me that they had a second one as well. The first stool was absolutely delightful and was a very traditional design with well turned carrying handles and a really expensive flock seat cover. The second was a bit more predestrian and was covered in a crimson brocade although I would preferred green. When it cane to pricing them up, I thought that the superior one was a little underpriced and the second one a little overpriced and although I tried to bargain for a better price if I bought the two, they did point out that they had only just been donated and seemed to be eminently saleable. I concurred with this and bought the two of them, knowing the better one would be a superb match for my recently acquired Technics organ and even the second was quite a nice piece of furniture. Then I went and did my one hour of Pilates and after walking home and cooking dinner, excitedly told Meg my good news.
After lunch, Meg and I decided that we would make our way down into town to collect our recently purchased furniture. Although the front of the Age Concern shop is on the High Street, it is not at all evident where the access to the store is via a rear entrance – but there evidently must be one so that the store can get its collections of furniture delivered. After a bit of fishing about, we did find the rear entrance and collected our acquisitions. Once we got them home, we kept them on the dark brown entrance mat that we have just inside our front door because this would be a qood site for them to be cleaned up. I started off with a bucket of warm soapy water and this is all they really required although later on, in the full light of day, there may be a call for some slight renovation with my bottle of ‘scratch cover’ fluid. I then ensured that each of the hinged seats were screwed up tightly, as I surmised that the hinges had not seen a screwdriver in decades. The older piece needed lining with some anaglypta wall paper of which I have a stock for cupbord lining purposes and now the two pieces have pride of place in our newly refurbished music room.