Better late (or early) than never


At last! My amaryllis is flowering. I carefully potted it up at least four months ago, but it stubbornly refused to budge. Then one day I saw a tiny green shoot and a long stem appeared and produced two white bell-like flowers. It would have been nice to have it in those dark winter days but here it is now, almost in time to welcome spring and to see the snowdrops flowering in the hedgerow.

I bought the bulb over the internet and did not have a chance to see it first. This is a disadvantage of online shopping. Another disadvantage is that some deliverers have decided to drop our parcels at the gate and not even alert us that is has arrived. I had a delivery time and tracking that showed me where the van was. I could see it on my mobile, driving along a picture of a bending road. But then the icon stopped and refused to budge. I thought the driver must be on his lunch break.

My parcel was due to arrive late afternoon. But it arrived at lunch time. This was a parcel of my books (I have written a new story). It is a very important parcel, and it was only by chance that I saw it there – wet and miserable at our gate. Then in the late afternoon about three hours after it arrived, I got an email to say it had been delivered. Was the driver skipping his lunch break to get home earlier? Did he stop the icon of his van and why did he seem to disguise the time he delivered?

We got to my parcel in time. I was a bit angry but decided not to say anything as I wondered if the driver was not paid very much and if he was not allowed extra time to walk to our front door for delivery. And, after all, there was no harm done. But it happened again with the same delivery service and so we complained, we had a ’concerned’ reply to say that they will do better in future.

Online shopping has become a way of life now, I buy all my clothes online because I do not feel safe in a shop. I am going to garden centres though, like many people. The one I favour is where I can wander about outside and pay at an outside counter, never going indoors. I still wear a mask and feel safer like that.

I feel safer too now that I have had my fourth jab at last. The extra vulnerable welcome this as a way of moving forwards.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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