Now, what is their telephone number? I could not find it in the directory, hunt though I may. finally I retrieved my phone bill. Ah, there it was! So I rang them, worked my way through their menu system, successfully identified myself, and finally spoke to a real person.
She wanted to know how many telephones I have in the house, where they all were, and was the internet working. Finally she said, Yes, there appeared to be an external fault, and promised faithfully that it would be fixed by tomorrow night, and that in the meantime all my calls would come through the mobile at no cost to myself. Goody, I said. Please stay on the line, she said, to answer a questionnaire about their service. How would I rate the response to this call? I placed it squarely in the middle. Why had I chosen this? Because, I said, you have promised to fix the problem, but I don't yet know whether this will be accomplished.
Flushed with my quick thinking, and rapier-like wit, I then set out to do some shopping. For food, you understand. I have had a week without the delicious ham and prosciutto I usually buy.
Shopping for one's single self can have problems. I find I do not want to buy two avocados at a time - one will do me nicely. I'd like one sweet corn, but they come in packs of three. Of course, I could buy one of each, but I get charged more per item. This makes me a bit aggravated. So I expressed my dissatisfaction, after I had bought my ham and prosciutto at the deli counter (where they allow you to buy whatever quantity you require). Yes, said the woman serving me, but this is how we do it. So I went off an bought an avocado elsewhere. So there.
I have to keep my mobile in my bra cup all this while, as otherwise it (the phone, that is) buries itself in the most inaccessible place imaginable and I never find it in time to answer the call.
While out buying the food, I popped into the pharmacy to buy some nail polish. This is a substance not generally kept in my house. However, one must think outside the square.
You would think, would you not, that a man with a chemistry degree would understand a bit about plastics and synthetic substances, and their melting point, and thus would not put fearfully hot frying pans onto the kitchen bench beside the hotplates. Alas, this is what Dr P did some years ago, melting said plastic and leaving holes. Perhaps unreasonably, I fretted about this. While Fernando was here, one of the little additional tasks I gave him was to put silicone around the kitchen sink so as not to let any water drip into the cupboard base. Complaining vehemently about the rotten workmanship of the man who had installed the sink and cut too big a hole for it, Fernando took it all out, cleaned it up and put it back, nicely siliconed into position. (Poor Fernando had many bad things to say about those who had done such bead work and thus caused the rising damp problem, etc.) I thought perhaps he could put a few drops of silicone into the burnt spots. He did, but alas, this did not work.
Nail polish might work, I mused. So yesterday I set off to buy some. A soft mauve was the colour closest to the murky light grey of the benchtop. I bought it, took it home and tried it. It did not look right. For some light relief from all this drama, I painted my nails soft mauve. They did not look right either.
At the chemist I found some soft grey, and brilliant sparkly purple nail polishes. I bought both, and some nail polish remover. The burnt spots now glisten softly grey, and look ok. The deep sparkly purple did not do my nails any favours, so that came off, and I am once again au naturelle.
My other reason for shopping was to get a few more balls of wool. So as to be able to finish the next blanket. An impudent woman tried to push in front of me at the checkout, but had to wait her turn. I bit my tongue over some appropriate reprimands. To further amuse myself and to widen my horizons (or something) I went and tried on a few dresses.
Fashions are at present reminding me of my glorious youth. There are some pretty fabrics and styles. Now that I am thinner, I thought I would try on some dresses. Alas, they are too short in the skirt, and do not look good with lace up shoes. I expressed the hope to the saleswoman that pretty dresses with longer skirts might sell quite well. She sighed. Yes, she said. I hope the next lot won't have such short skirts. Most of my customers are over 35, and they all say the same thing about the short skirts.
Perhaps some fashion designer out there might be less fixated on the under 18 market, and think outside the square. One can only hope.