Monday, 22nd August, 2022

[Day 889]

As we are due to travel north to Yorkshire on Wednesday, my activities in these two days before we travel are devoted to making sure that ‘all of my ducks are in a row’ before we set off. I have three tasks which I need to perform in the next few days of which one is getting my financial statements prepared and uploaded before we meet the Bank reprentative on 31st August. Next, the car badly needs an outside and inside valeting so I think I need to get that pulled in today if I can. Finally, I need to make sure that tyre pressure and washer bottle supplies are adequate before we start a long journey. I have an empty cupboard at home amd am utilising this to drop into it things that I know I need to make our hotel stay a little more domesticated. After Meg and I had picked up our copy of The Times, we made our way to the park where we had quite a pleasant sojourn. We did not encounter any of our regular park friends but Mondays are always traditionally very quiet days in the park anyway. When we got home, I made sure Meg was well supplied with food and drink before I made a journey down to see our firm of Romanian/Iraqi/Kurdish car washers. I got there seconds after another client so I was given a wait of an hour and a half before it would be ready for me. However, this turned out almost like like ‘manna from heavan’ as it meant that I was free to explore some of the charity shops along the High Street in Bromsgrove. First, I popped into a shop where I could buy some cosmetics for Meg and some toiletries that would be useful for our hotel bedroom. But I was fundamentally foused upon one item of purchase upon which I was intent and that was some extra skirts for Meg. Generally speaking, Meg and I preder to shop for clothes in the charity shops of Alcester, a pretty little Georgian town some miles distant but has a reputation for an excellent range of shops. So my expectations of fine quality clothing in Bromsgrove were not high, but I had plenty of time on my side. I have noticed that the shops seem to be replete with tops of every shape and size but skirts seem to be in short supply, particularly if you avoid the trousers and the discarded mini-skirts that are are generally housed on the same rails. A slightly complicating factor is that my wife used to be a standard 12 but with the ravages of time and the pandemic, the default size for which I now search is a size 14. In my searches through several charity shops, though, I did snap up two items, one of which is a ‘John Lewis’ marque and the other highly original design of multicoloured butterflies of which the label seems to have got detached. I was relieved that when I did transport them home Meg liked the design of both so that will help to extend her range of outfits somewhat.

We had a bit of uncalled for drama in the middle of the day which we could have well done without. I had previously ordered over the ‘net’ a birthday cake for my sister so this had arrived just as I was leaving to go down into town and now was the time to unpack it and inspect that all was as it should be. Imagine my horror when the cake’s icing said ‘Happy Birthday to Pauline and Alex’ with a design that was not the one I had chosen. The packing note with the cake had a photo of the design and text that I had chosen for my sister so in the midst of preparing a delayed lunch (hastily) I made several attempts to make contact with the firm supplying the cake. They are horrified at what had happened and promised to put it right by despatching the correct version of the cake, plus text, that should arrive tomorrow (or so they promised) In the meanwhile, the firm would have to try and track down the ‘Pauline and Alex’ from their range of customers to indicate they would not be gettng their cake when they thght that they would and presumably another customer has ours. If there has been a more systematic error in which each customer on the list has been displaced by one, as it were, then they could potentially have a queue of dissatisfied customers. As to the cake that that is now in possession we can either throw it away or eat it (we will do the latter!)

In the latest of the series of industrial disputes that is afflicting the nation, then barristers have voted to go on an indefinite, uninterrupted strike in England and Wales from next month. The walkout by members of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) will begin on 5 September. This seems to be the way to go on strike if one intends to do it – no messing about for a day or so but a full-scale, wholehearted, 100% withdrawal of services. One might think of barristers as being well paid but successive cuts have reduced their remuneration to little more than the minimum wage, so they claim.