There’s a number of things I especially like about Sundays.
Firstly, when we’re both awake, it’s nice to lie in with a cup of coffee/tea with the puppies, just slowly waking to the sound of the world outside. This almost happened this morning. Actually I was awake and listening to the radio when the tinkle of the bell sounded from the bedroom, sending the puppies flying up the stairs. Shortly afterwards, I followed, a little more sedately.
About ten minutes later Mirinda left to go downstairs and start working on the documents. The biggest one is finished but now she has to work on about a million smaller ones prepared by others with very little Word skills.
Another thing I love about Sunday is the fact that the shops don’t open until 10am (I hope this never changes) because if I leave the house at 9am, I can get a very leisurely half an hour (plus) in Starbucks before having to go shopping. I take this opportunity to write my blog (some of my better efforts are written at Starbucks of a Sunday morning…at least I think so).
The walk in is generally pleasant with plenty of ‘good mornings’ exchanged with various fellow walkers and I get to note the various forestry activities along the way.
Wonderfully, Starbucks is not particularly busy on a Sunday morning as most of the customers, like me, are waiting for Waitrose to open. It’s generally very calm and pleasant and conducive to blog post writing. Much better than mid week during school term when all the mums (and Solitary Dad) gather after dropping the kids off and indulge in loud conversation about the mums that aren’t there.
This morning, however, was not so conducive.
I had typed the word ‘Fortunately’ at the beginning of the second paragraph (I then completely forgot the rest of the sentence) when an old chap (who appeared to be about 100) looked across and caught my eyes across the top of the hybrid. He smiled and said: “My brother’s got a computer.”
This spelled the end to any hope of writing. Clearly the chap was wanting to chat and being the kind-hearted simpleton I am, I obliged with a willing ear.
I found out that he was 80 (he looked older), his father died when he was still very young (him, not the father…though the father may have been young as well) and his mother died 19 years ago. He said she had more things wrong with her than he could count on the fingers of both hands.
She had had diabetes, arthritis, glaucoma, asthma, something else I didn’t quite hear (which was only five and he possessed all his fingers), but died of a heart attack, unrelated to any of them. I said she probably died of a heart attack because she wanted a complete set…but he didn’t hear me.
Actually hearing was a bit of a problem. While he couldn’t hear me because of his age and some non-apparent hearing problem, I couldn’t hear him because he whispered, was sat a table away from me and Starbucks was quite noisy. Of course, being a skilled and competent actor, I merely pretended to hear him. It was enough.
What I did find out was that he worked all his life as a postie. He earned £200 per week back in the 1970’s, which he reckoned was a “…bloody good wage.” He figured that posties were probably now on £500 per week. I nodded.
He then went into an unexpected diatribe about his clothes. His boxers were from Indonesia, his vest from Thailand, his jacket from Scandinavia, his shirt from China.
“We have the best textile industry in the world up in Lancashire!” He declared with great fervour.
He then went through a number of other things I couldn’t hear. Something was from Japan, another thing from somewhere else in South East Asia. When he mentioned crockery he then claimed that the best crockery in world came from Stoke-on-Trent. He really became quite belligerent.
I asked him if he knew why this was? He said no. I said “Unions.” Then, in that way that older people have of completely (and innocently) missing the point of your reply, he started to explain that he had been a member of a union back in the Post Office.
He also told me more about his family, his very narrow back garden and the fact that he’d tried to buy Christmas cards (he still sends them by the post) but was told in Smiths that they don’t generally arrive in-store until October.
The one thing he didn’t tell me was his name. So I’m going to call him Jeremiah. In case I see him again, which is likely given I’ve seen him in Starbucks on a few previous Sundays when he’s not taken a blind bit of notice of me.