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Mistakes, I’ve made a few…

The latest in an ever-extending line of mistakes wot I’ve made was to order a sofa-bed mattress protector for collection from John Lewis and then deciding that it would be a good idea to pick it up – along with a few groceries from Waitrose and yet another frock I’d ordered (I’m turning into a veritable clothes-horse after all these years of abstinence) – on foot, in the rain, without my bus-pass. They would have delivered it for free, and the chaps who last week delivered the sofa-bed on which it is destined to reside (on those rare occasions when my office has to revert to a bedroom) were delightful. But no, I can be a stubborn old biddy and why would I want to add another vehicle journey when I can easily waltz into Kingston with almost no carbon emissions at all?

Declining a half-offer of a lift in the car, on the basis that that would more than entirely defeat the object, I stride off purposefully in the early afternoon. My legs, which should be tired after being subjected to approximately 28 trudging miles in two days on my latest South West Coast adventure (more about which perhaps another time) turn out to be up for a bit of a jaunty scuttle into the town centre. My few other purchases made, I cheerfully present myself and my bar-code at the collection department. After a brief wait, the young male assistant returns with a medium-sized floppy parcel which I easily secrete in the bag with my groceries and – oh dear – an enormous shiny-grey-plastic-wrapped monstrosity which he heaves up onto the counter.

“Hmm, this may have been a mistake,” I declare. He looks concerned and surreptitiously checks the order number. “No, I mean, it’s about half a mile to carry this thing home.”

He looks confused. “Do you not have a car?”

“I have a car but it’s at home.”

Incredulous now. “Er, are you walking?!”

“Yup.” Silence. “I guess it’s not heavy though?” I say, as I grapple with the slippery wrapping and hoist the thing aloft to show that I am in fact much younger and more vigorous than I may appear. At this point, I realise that there’s a part of me – inherited no doubt from my father – that demands a sense of humour from those with whom I do business, at least if I am the customer in the relationship. And I’m really not feeling it here. Better get out before I’m tempted to say something properly ludicrous. Or offensive.

So I stride through John Lewis with as close to a swagger as I can muster and before I know it, I have reached the exit – and am already exhausted. Just that half mile in the wind and rain to go then. Haha – silly moo.

I make it home though, and am pleased to report that the mattress cover appears to be the right size and comes, as described, in its own packing-away bag (which is important). Also, the new frock seems to fit and I have already earmarked its first appearance – so that is all good. 

And now I am sitting back at my desk, the rain is heavier and there seems to be a bit of a gale outside, so perhaps the timing of my trip was not quite as bad a mistake as it could have been.

A mistake which is easy to make is forgetting to turn my phone to silent when I go to bed. I’m pretty good at avoiding this, particularly after working for many years in a fully global environment where messages were being received at all times of day and night. Of course, the offspring consider me completely mad for having the sound on my phone on AT ALL, EVER, but I am determinedly old in this regard. However, whilst exhausted after a long day’s walking and possibly overdosed on remedial chocolate last Saturday, I repeated this mistake in my Barnstaple hotel room.

It is most discombobulating to be woken in the middle of the night by Daughter Jillings’ helpful text, probably sent on arrival at home at the end of her shift, declaring that her favourite colour is orange. Just what I need to know at 4.30am. As it happens, this was a perfectly sensible response to a request from her uncle on our shared WhatsApp group, and not some random confessional message, but it had me confused for a while. Was this code for something I ought to remember? Fortunately, I return to sleep quite quickly rather than fretting. She has sent far more alarming messages in the dead of night, believe me! Eg. The time when her key broke off in the lock at the end of a similar late-finishing shift and she had to sit for hours in the bushes outside her flat, waiting for a locksmith. I slept blissfully through all of that. 

I’ve had almost enough of mistakes for now, but will quickly admit one more rather protracted one: I discovered this afternoon that we have been using a double duvet inside our King size duvet covers on our Kingsize bed – for 16 years! No wonder one of us ends up with an ’empty’ corner after a couple of nights! I have measured and re-measured in the last few hours, convinced I must be imagining this error and that if I measure often enough the dimensions will magically change to something that makes sense, but sad to say, the tape measure says the same thing every time. In fairness, this old duvet is a little more generously-sized than the newer double ones I have purchased for the guest bedrooms, but still…

After abandoning the tape, I thought I’d experiment. I’ve sneakily poppered our old duvet to another one I found (I think they are supposed to be a set – obviously yonks since I bought them) and forced this ridiculous amount of confined and now very ancient plumage into our duvet cover. This conveniently frees up a little more space in our over-stuffed cupboards, so RESULT! If you never see another blog from me, it will be because we have either melted or suffocated overnight. Making this yet another of my many mistakes – but I suppose it would at least then be my last.

(NOTE TO SELF – If we don’t perish, it may still be prudent to buy a new duvet. Apparently one is supposed to replace them every 5 years or so. That doesn’t seem very eco-friendly to me, but after all this time I can perhaps justify a new one, particularly as some of them use recycled and vegan materials etc. )



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