Catherine’s Diary (21): 20 to 24 July 2020

The messages on the back of Catherine’s sealed envelope seem to get longer: “There is a saga about Brussel Sprouts, so your post-person doesn’t miss out.  I have eaten 28 and have 21 to go!  Would you believe it, Barbara, I’m using your ‘Horses’ tea towel. Also still talking faster than I write.  Thank you Postal Workers.  Off to catch the Thursday morning post”.  Soon she will be able to just write on the back of the envelope, rather than have to enclose a letter.  My tea towel of choice for today’s Diary has to be the Primark Horses tea towel, which I sent to Catherine last week.

“Two days ago a predicament occurred in the bathroom.  I thought I had a hole in the ceiling.  That’s all I need I thought.  Then I realised it was a big, dark moth!  Moths are the second on the list of insects I hate, ants being the first.  Amanda suggested I get the feather stick and try and get it towards the window but, as luck would have it, I looked up on the third day and it had disappeared.  Where to I wondered.  I looked towards the window and there he was.  Quickly, I opened it and gave him a big shove out.  What a relief.  I could use the bathroom in peace once more.

Good day, today I had a haircut.  I can see my ears and neck and it’s thinned out all over the head, otherwise light-headed!  I even look different, younger, boosts the morale up.

Hydrangea in the front garden is beautiful, considering I didn’t dead-head it properly in March but the Hibiscus in the back, not looking it’s normal vibrant self.  Cheese biscuits a semi-disaster.  Couldn’t get the mixture to stick together, added a bit more liquid; four came out ok, three were splattered to crumbs.  Should have used soft butter?  Lindy came yesterday, took the recipe and in an hour and a half came back with cooked cheese biscuits.  She said it took a while for it to come together.  They were delicious.  She also brought three items to use in ‘Bea’s Cakes’, so that’s next.  I will not give up; I will give cheese biscuits another bash.  (I had sent Catherine four recipes: Cheese Biscuits and Bea’s Cakes were two of them.  The cheese mixture comes together in the end but it always starts looking unpromising and takes a while.  Never give up)

Last week a letter came from the bank, with my new Bank Card but I couldn’t use ‘contactless’ until I’d done a ‘chip and pin’.  Panic set in.  I hadn’t done one for months.  Some key pads are so small and tight; so I opted to go to the bank.  Friday was my first day going into town.  Wade gave me a lift, met my friend Wendy for support.  Boots first for medication, mask on, forgot to look at the floor for the ‘arrows’, collected pills, turned round and spotted the big blue arrows with red circles on them saying ‘Exit’, got it right this time.  Forwarded to the bank.  It was one in only, I was eleventh in line, one metre apart.  The assistant came out and asked me what I needed.  She said I could use the card in the outside machine.  I said I needed help, I don’t do automated on my own.  After going through all this paraphernalia, I said I can now do ‘contactless’.  She said “No”.  I had to go in a shop and do the ‘chip and pin’ again.  She said “The shop need to know that the bank knows you’ve opened the card”.  This sounds all ‘double dutch’ to me.  I’ve probably got it all wrong.  I was getting ‘hot and bothered’ by now.  So I chose Primark and tea towels for ‘chip and pin’.  I saw some nice ones with elephants on them but they were micro ones.  I don’t like micro ones, seems to stick to your hands, a bit like Blue Wedgewood, a funny feel to them.  Settled for red ‘normal’ in the end.  After buying them, went to Superdrug and tested ‘contactless’ and it worked.  What a relief.  (Didn’t you use ‘contactless’ in Primark?).  I bought five boxes of Cherry and Cola Tic Tacs, on special offer.  I said to Wendy that I needed a sit down with coffee, need to relax!  Calm myself down.  I noticed people were not doing the ‘one-way’ system in shops and quite a few didn’t wear their masks.  I know some people can be exempt but it seemed an awful lot.

After coffee and a rest, Wendy went to Tescos and I ventured into Wilko.  I did enjoy looking around.  The assistant that I knew called me over to pay, unbeknown to me I had to serve myself.  Panic again.  He showed me how to ‘zap’ my shopping, pay by card, get a receipt.  It’s not something that I would like to do too often.  Glad to get that taxi and go home, I can tell you.  Not going to rush into town again for a while.

On Saturday, Amanda, Wade and I went to ‘The Fox’ for dinner, outside under canvas.  I wore my raincoat, as the weather was a bit wet.  I had Barbara’s favourite, Battered Halloumi with chips and 2000 peas (I didn’t eat all of them).  Barbara, the Halloumi was delicious!  You don’t know what you’re missing.  (Oh yes I do and I wouldn’t touch Halloumi if you paid me!!!).  While we sat there, Amanda brought up the subject of Brussel Sprouts, which I thought was a bit sinister, asking me how many I’d eaten lately.  I said in the last four weeks I’d eaten 21.  She said I needed to eat more or she would stop my broccoli delivery!  I have eaten another seven, which leaves 21 left to eat, Amanda!!!!  I said no more sprouts when they are finished.  49 is a lot to get through.

I did notice Amanda never mentioned my ‘long hair’ beard, very unusual.  Sunday I decided to use Bruce’s razor and shave it off myself, can’t be that hard, used the shaving brush/soap, glasses on, felt a ‘pull’ and there it was on the razor.  So Amanda your tweezers are redundant!!”  

There is no question that Catherine’s Diary is the tale, we probably could all tell, of the things we are all having to learn in this new world!

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