Thursday, 26th August, 2021

[Day 528]

Today was a day which either started off well or badly depending upon which way you look at it. Under my new regime, I now get up at the crack of dawn (well 7.00am actually) and throw some clothes on so the I can leave the house at 7.40 and arrive at Waitrose in Droitwich at 1 minute to 8.00am when the store opens. I was the first customer through the doors when the store opened and I think altogether there may have only been about three of us in the store at that time. After discussions with my family, I have more-or-less decided that I need to amend my diet slightly to include some more ‘red meat’ within limits. I did find some venison steaks that were beng discounted (quite heavily for Waitrose) and these I bought. When I eventually did some research on the web, I discovered that venison per 100g portion actually contains almost twice the amount of iron as the equivalent portion of beef and twelve times the proportion of iron to be found in chicken. Not only does it contain gram for gram two and a half times as much iron as spinach or broccoli – moreover, the iron is of a form (‘haem’) that can be more easily absorbed by the body. Now that I know all of this, I am resolved to eat venison fairly regularly if I can find but I suspect that stores like Waitrose will always have some supplies of it. Whilst I am it, I intend to keep my consumption of pulses and dark-green vegetables at an optimum and perhaps to eat fish twice rather than once per week. So I was feeling quite pleased with having to managed to get everything on my list (and one or two things that really should have been on the list in the first place) when with a sickening thud I realised that I had left all my money (and credit cards) at home. I approached the help desk full of contrition as I had a trolley full of food and no way of paying for it. However, I have to say that the staff could not have been nicer or more understanding about my plight. The customer services manager did a quick scan of things in my trolley to find out things that might melt or unfreeze (like ice-cream) and we put these back on the shelves. Then my trolley full of food was parked with my name on it whist I raced back home to pick up my cash and then back again to the store (a trip of about 6½ miles each way, which wasn’t too bad) I then returned with the cash and paid for my purchases. Like last week, I find that I am actually saving money by shopping directly rather than relying upon online shopping even though I had bought one or two unanticipated things so again, I am more than happy to be getting into my stride in the new system. Then it was a case of unpacking the shopping and getting Meg to her optician’s appointment at 11.30. Naturally, I took the opportunity to wander around Poundland whilst her eyes were being examined and bought one or two little things that might come in useful. Then we went by car to the park and parked in what is a ‘top’ car park so that we can avail ourselves of our normal vantage point. We heard some distant sounds of what seemed a children’s entertainer and a crowd of exuberant children. Chatting with the couple (who we know by sight, plus their dog) on the next park bench to ourselves we were were speculating whether it was an old-fashioned ‘Punch and Judy‘ show which we could hear in the distance but not actually see. We were speculating whether the ‘wife-beating’ is still a regular part of the show or whether modern sensibilities means that some changes are observed. Just out of interest, I wondered a little about the history of Punch and Judy and discovered this on the web:

In one apparently representative Punch and Judy performance in 1827, Judy appears as an ugly and “disorderly” wife, slapping Punch and then leaving their baby in his care. When the baby begins screaming, Punch throws it out the window. Judy returns and, learning of her child’s death, begins hitting Punch, who eventually kills her with a stick and celebrates the murder with a song. While Punch was also known to beat and murder a cast of other puppets, including a blind man and the devil, the conflict with his wife remained the most consistent and popular aspect of the shows

This afternoon seemed fairly quiet and I had a quiet read of The Times whilst at the same time absorbing some of the terrible news from the rolling news programme about the bomb explosions outside the airport in Kabul where about thirteen people have been killed and even more injured. I then successfully persuaded a credit card company to alter their payment date so that it aligns more clearly with my pattern of expenditure.