Monday, August 19, 2013

Vegetable love, smoking, crash-bang-wallop




































Everything in the kitchen garden has shot upwards and outwards since this photo was taken a few days ago. As Andrew Marvell  might have written,  my vegetable love is growing vaster than empires.

The computerised check-in at the Doctor's surgery is satisfying in an odd sort of way. "Are you Male or Female?" it enquires, before asking you for the month and then the day of your birth. When you have answered these questions it usually tells you who you are and which doctor or nurse you have an appointment with and when. Fine. But this morning a new question intrudes "Do you smoke?" it demands. I click "no" and ignore "yes", but it is not satisfied. It persists:  "Have you ever smoked?" I cannot tell a lie. As a young man I used to enjoy lighting up at parties or as I remember with particular pleasure on the top deck of a London bus.  an appeal that was almost cinamatic.  So I tick, yes. "Ah", it seems to be  saying as the words: "When did you give up?" appear followed by a list of years.  The year when I finally stopped buying cigarettes escapes me. It was  long before the list of years proffered. Then I notice a window with space for an unspecified year,  presumably for the use of oldies. But was it 1978 or 1979? Or did I in 1983 resort to a few puffs to see me though the Three-Day Week? My finger hovers and the screen goes blank. "Your check-in has failed", it says, "please report to the reception desk". I begin to explain about the smoking but they are not in the least bit interested and there is queue behind me.

We are sitting  at a table on the pavement outside a new Bistro in Mount Pleasant. On the pavement behind Heidi  old lady approaches on a mobility scooter, where it appears she intends to park it. But she can't stop and she drives straight into the back of Heidi's chair pushing her forward and scattering china and cutlery to left and right. Eventually she remembers how to switch the machine off. She continues to sit on the scooter staring in front of her, more surprised than shocked. A waitress escorts her into the restaurant but seems quite unconcerned with us, who were waiting to  order something to eat when the incident occurred. We move to another table, stepping over broken china, not a little shocked ourselves,  but there is no sign of  the waitress or  a word from the old lady who looks in good shape. After a while we leave in search of  a safer and more courteous place to eat.

2 comments:

Tom said...

Do you get the feeling that an awful lot of people are sleepwalking through their lives? They ought to have a current licence just to say they're human, not that that would change anything. Good move to leave in search of a safer and more courteous place to eat. Hope you were successful.

Joe Hyam said...

I was I have to admit rather concerned about the old woman's state of health. But I think I should have been more worried about ours. Sleep walking? Probably.