Do computers care?


I have bagged a supermarket delivery slot for Christmas on-line. It is a big deal these days if you do not want to go into the crowded shop. The slots opened at 6am but I did not get up early enough and tried to book at 8am, most of the days near to 25th had been allocated already. Did people set their alarms and sit there at 6? They must have done, because I was 60,000th in a virtual computer queue, I had to wait quite a time.

I turned my attention to cards, last year we did not send any and gave to charity instead thinking that it would all be over this year. But it is not and so we bought charity cards. The stall was in a church, and I guessed it would be airy enough and draughty enough to be relatively safe from COVID.

As we were in town, we took some more clothes to a charity shop. I cannot imagine anyone would want my old out-of-date clothes, but I took them just the same hoping that if they were not bought the fabric could be recycled. Fashion is not exactly at the top of my agenda, at present, as I do not really go anywhere. It is still easy to look reasonable on videos so long as your top looks good and your hair is combed.

I went to the hairdresser yesterday and it has become a habit of mine to be watchful. Are the covers round my shoulders clean? Have they been used for someone else? Do the workers gel their hands? Are they wearing masks? How do you mention it if you are not comfortable? I have decided that I just have to say – ‘Will you clean your hands?’ Two years ago, this would have been unthinkable. But now, perhaps, must be part of life.

And part of our life at this time of year has been cooking apple pie. Our Bramleys are stored in our apple loft and are such a welcome treat. Holding two heavy fruits in my hands I noticed that they have a shine to them like a natural preservative wax. It must stop them rotting and keep them fresh for months to come. How pleased we were with ourselves.

One sad thing, though, is that a friend of mine has died. She was elderly and passed away quietly and peacefully but I had not been able to see her for some time. My mobile contact details simply say, ‘Delete this person’. Sometimes I do not like computers even though I rely on them. They take no account of feelings.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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