Friday comes around quickly but it is nice to have a day off work to get my house in order not to mention myself.
Yesterday during my lunchtime I visited the lending library for a browse. It is a grand building built in 1937 with local stone and has a very central position in the town – but inside now it is quite a sad place. Three self-service machines have taken over and the staff drastically reduced and are set to be reduced even more shortly. I don’t like being ‘served’ by a machine and so rarely go now.
Over the last few years I became very friendly with one of the ladies who worked on the desk at the library – when there was a desk – we chatted quite often when I popped in every week but now we are limited to when we bump into each other in Sainsbury’s. We are arranging to meet for lunch one day for a good natter – you can’t do that with a machine!
On the way to the library I took a short cut through Poundland and had to smile when I saw the bottles of thick bleach £1 each – I paid 50p in Sainsbury’s for the same size! Not everything in the cheap shops is a bargain.
After the Library visit I went in to my bank only to find that the 5 counters have been reduced to two – I was told it is the effect of online banking and the hole in the wall machines – I even asked if they were closing down but was assured they were not but maybe they will start to install machines to do the counter jobs like HSBC did across the road.
Just having this stroll around town made me realise how quickly things are changing these days and how this upsets me as it does not feel like positive change. With all the reductions in staff and increase in automation perhaps we will have to learn to converse solely with machines!
Anyway back to today and the task list. This morning I took my car to the garage it had been washed and cleaned inside and out by my better half ready for the MOT and service. All day I was keeping my fingers crossed that they didn’t find anything major wrong. Already this year I have had a new exhaust so my car budget is a bit tight now.
After depositing the car I went on to the dentist to be patched up again – but this bill was less than £20 on the NHS for the repair of a filling – quite good value I think.
Meanwhile back at home the paperwork pile has certainly been in competition with the ironing pile and both have grown considerably during the week despite my best efforts to deal with some of it. I keep trying to make the paperwork simpler but when the post arrives it seems to come with yet another problem to deal with. This week we had a letter from our local council to say our Council Tax payment for December (which is sent by standing order) had not been received. We have never missed a payment and it had clearly gone out of our bank account so where was this payment? A few phone calls later and we are told someone will look into it.
After a flurry of cleaning downstairs and a cup of tea round at my neighbours at last the phone call came from the garage to collect my car before 6pm – we were given the news that it is probably terminal and might only have another year left as the underside is not in good shape. Not the news we wanted to hear!
On top of all this I ended the day knowing that I had tried to fit in too many tasks and one or two of them had gone badly wrong.
The colour run wash I did on some stained sheets failed – the powder stayed in the dispensing drawer and formed a big solid lump whilst the sheets had a 133 minute @ 50 degree wash for nothing! I only discovered this when the wash had finished.
The new recipe of Spicy Chickpea bakes that I was going to try for our tea tonight did not happen either – there seems to be a sudden shortage of courgettes around here and I forgot to check again in Sainsbury’s last night to see if they had restocked. I tried the local Co-op and Morrisons down the road but they had none either (is everyone making Spicy Chickpea bakes for tea?). I didn’t think it very economical to drive all the way to town for one so at the last minute I had to improvise with the ingredients I did have and make Cheesey Leek ramekins – an old well-tested recipe – just as tasty, but it was a bit disappointing as I had spent time carefully choosing the menu this week and was looking forward to something new.
On the back of today’s disasters it made me think that I need to limit myself to doing a few tasks well and not take on too much – perhaps three new recipes in one week was a tall order. As well I should have postponed the colour run wash for a time when I can give more attention to it and I will certainly remember to check that the water has washed the powder through the drawer next time. When I make my list for next week I am going to try and single out only two tasks to do each day and make every effort to complete them.
Well here’s to a good weekend everyone.