Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Sunday February 11th 2018
Isis, who has recovered from her nasty ‘stick mouth’ experience is awarded a tasty treat for being a brave girl and I decided to venture into Kings Heath for the first time since the joint swellings began.
Off I set, a little nervous but in good spirits, and the 18 bus even arrives on time.
I get off just past the bottom of my road. There’s a short list of tasks to accomplish: collect my glasses from the optician; change two twenties for eight fives at the bank, buy small brush heads for my friend’s battery toothbrush and a replacement cable for her landline phone.
I head to the opticians. They’re on lunch break. Silly me.
Crossing over the road, I make my way to the 50 bus stop just as a bus arrives. Now for Kings Heath High Street and the Nat West Bank.
It’s the lunch hour and there’s an enormous queue. Ah, the powers that be haven’t yet caught on to the fact that the lunch hour is when all the local workers tend to come to the bank, probably especially on Monday. There are only two bank workers and one of them is only dealing with certain designated transactions.
I breathe deeply and stand on each foot in turn. Eventually, the designated transactions lady opens for general business. We get moving at last. My cohort has been standing in this queue for nearly thirty minutes and I’m not feeling at my best.
It’s my turn. I ask for my two twenty pound notes to be changed.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that”, says the cashier.
I can’t believe it. She explains that she can only give me change if I am a Nat. West customer.
I gape in disbelief.
She advises me to go to my own bank. That’s really helpful. My bank doesn’t have a branch in Kings Heath. The nearest branch is in town.
Incandescent, I limp out of the bank.
Thanks a million, Nat. West. At least you could have a large, unmissable notice in the window stating that you don’t give change.
I walk down to the other end of the high street to Superdrug. All their small brush heads are size 4. Not the size I’ve been asked to buy.
I walk back and try Boots. They, too, have only size 4.
The final purchase is the telephone wire connection. The shop actually does have one.
When I arrive at my friend’s and triumphantly plug in the connection, the phone doesn’t work. A British Telecom engineer is summoned. He will come out on Wednesday.
None of the tasks have been successfully accomplished.
Before leaving my friend, I go into her bathroom. I forget that she’s just had a shower and fail to notice a puddle of icy cold water on the floor. I have taken off my shoes and my right sock is soaked. My friend lends me a pair of socks and I leave.
At home in the evening, I am dismayed to discover that the washing machine refuses to drain. After many ill-tempered attempts to persuade it to do so, I snatch out the filter cover. The machine then, of course, drains all over the kitchen floor.
As Popeye once declared, “That’s all I can stand, and I can’t stands (sic) no more!” I grab all the dog towels I can find, throw them on top of the spreading pool and retire to the day bed.
But then, after a few minutes, the loveliest thing happens. Isis gets down from her futon, stretches, yawns mightily, interrogates the edge of the day bed very diligently for several minutes and then, finally, joins me, leaning against my legs.
I pull my double fleece throw over my head and close my eyes.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk