Thursday, 14th May, 2020

[Day 59]

Today was the fateful day in which I was to collect my first Waitrose ‘Click and Collect’ order. As it worked out, all was plain sailing – although there was a long and orderly queue, I was directed to enter the store directly and then waited whilst all my order was delivered in a series of carrier bags on a Waitrose staff trolley. I was then supplied with a customer trolley into which I unloaded all the bags and then straight home. I think next time, I will wait until a fortnight has elapsed and then go for a straight delivery service which is available once you spend a certain quantum of money. Once we eventually got to the park having encountered our usual two sets of friends and their grandchildren en-route, we enjoyed the pleasant sunshine. We also passed by Clive’s house where his family was chatting with other neighbours and we made sure that we all have he arrangements in place for the funeral next Tuesday. The grandchildren had prepared an information leaflet giving all the neighbours up and down the Kidderminster Road details of the video-feed from the crematorium so I am sure that after the initial ‘clap-off’ we shall repair to our respective houses and follow the proceedings on our laptops.

This afternoon turned out to be a heavier afternoon than I would have liked. I set myself the task of encouraging a Wegela to grow nice and tall – this entailed attached a length of bamboo cane to an existing cane and then affixing the various branches to it. The trouble was that everything was a bit precarious because I was balancing on a pile of bricks in one hand whilst trying to manipulate string, plant-ties, scissors, etc, with the other. I am not sure that the result looked much better than the original but at least I have had a go. Then I decided to construct a sort of miniature fence halfway up the slope near the area cleared by the fallen tree. Fortunately, I had in my possession a post-boring implement (actually it looks like a giant corkscrew but it enables you to construct the type of hole you want for a fencing post without too much digging or the use of concrete). All that is required then is a lot of hammering with a heavy-duty sledgehammer which was really quite hard work. Then I utilised some timber that my neighbour had kindly let me have as surplus to his own requirements when he was having some building work done and the timbers neatly stacked behind it and were held in position by two more staves (previously pre-creosoted) at the rear. The idea is to store things like bags of compost, topsoil and other garden requisites behind the fence so that everything will look nice and neat once more tidying up has taken place.

As it is Thursday evening, our little ‘close’ participated in the weekly ‘Clap for Carers‘ but perhaps the response was little more muted this week? We took the opportunity to have an extended chat with our new-ish neighbours. The husband had returned home yesterday from a spell in hospital where he was being treated for some heart problems so we exchanged some hospital stories with each other. We have both every reason to be grateful for some high-quality care in our local hospitals but hospital organisation is a little complicated in this area as the local trust covers Redditch, Kidderminster and Worcester and patients often shuttle from one hospital to another in the course of their treatment. This can make life a little complicated at times as Bromsgrove is in the middle of this little ‘triangle’ being approximately twelve miles distant from each but one gets used to it in time.