Wednesday, 16th December, 2020

[Day 275]

The day started off in a dark and gloomy way and did not improve practically all day. We are always a little delayed on a Wednesday because there were various cosmetic things that we decided to renew via the internet and then there is our weekly Waitrose order to update. This has to be done by 12 midday before our delivery slot tomorrow morning (between 8am-9am). We had intended to walk as usual to the park but it was raising so intensely we decided to ‘chicken out’ and go down to collect our newspapers in the car.Then we parked in the Sanders Park car park and made straight for the bandstand where we enjoyed our coffee in a vertical (i.e. standing) position rather than sitting on a soggy, rain-strewn bench. Then we made straight for home where we treated ourselves to some hot chocolate – we had got a little bit soggy but not drenched through which could have been the case.

When we moved into this house some 13 years go, the first thing I did practically was to use a firm which supplied us with address labels (Able-Label – they have been going for years) We ordered 1,000 labels but we are reaching the stage when they may soon be exhausted. About this time of year, I always use a supply of labels to stick inside my Christmas cards in case the recipient has lost my details and they know who the card is from. A friend of ours with whom we have a regular lunch date when we can had sent me a Christmas card but I realised that I didn’t have an address to send a return card. A few messages later on, we had got some address details to ‘stitch’ into our computer file and we promised each other to meet as soon as we could after the lockdown for another meal where we can catch up on what’s happening in each other’s lives. Anyway, I marshalled together all of the remaining labels that I had and worked out the I probably had just about sufficient for this Christmas cards so I ordered a new supply for when this runs out. The ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing this was, of course, to fill in the details carefully on one of their forms and despatch a cheque to cover the cost. But times have now changed – everything is composed in the firm’s web page and then it is paid for via Paypal (in my case). I took the opportunity to ‘squeeze’ the telephone number line so that I could get my mobile number also added to the address. However, whilst I was at it, I realised that the standard address label (name, address, postcode, telephone number which takes up six lines maximum needs to be supplemented for today’s communication needs. So I decided to order a new set of additional labels which now details my mobile, email address, (no FaceTime details as it happens), my personal website, the WordPress blog address and finally a text version of this blog I keep on another server in case the first goes down completely and all is lost. This new set of labels should prove quite useful if I know I am handing over details to friends and acquaintances who are computer literate so they can access these other information sources if the spirit moves them. Most of the afternoon was actually taken up with getting the labels ‘on screen’ line up as they ought with the sticky labels that are fed into the printer. I needed to print out several ‘trial’ sheets and then match up by eye to ensure the onscreen-entry actually matched up with the label that was to be printed. If you did it any other way, you would run the risk of wasting many sheets of the labels which are quite precious. Earlier in the day, I had ordered a new supply of computer labels ready fo the next time.

In the late afternoon, we had a FaceTime chat with some of our ex-Waitrose friends. We tend to chat about once a week, normally on a Tuesday, but we missed last night for a variety of reasons. Our friend’s daughter had just moved house and it all seemed to have been a somewhat nightmarish experience (some items damaged, demanding payment at overtime rates after a certain time and so on) Moving house can be stressful at the best of times, so we sympathised. When we moved into our present house, the removal men got to the house before we did, got let in by the cleaner who we had inherited and proceeded to deposit boxes willy nilly all over the place – even though we had got them labelled, it still takes the actual owners to know what goes where. I seem to remember the day after we moved in, we went to a hardware store to acquire a trolley so that we could move boxes (mainly of books!) to their intended resting place.