There is a God! Some of you may be lucky enough never to have had doubts on this matter – in which case I am envious of you! I, however, have frequently doubted the existence of the Supreme Being – and certainly I have had doubts as to whether this Being, should It exist, has any interest in me and my small life. Why would It?
Anyway, you may remember my unhappy experience with ORIENTAL RUGS (see Blog No.49) and my inability to order what I wanted due to the ineptitude of the Company selling them. You may not realise how deeply disappointed I was about the failure of this transaction – but as my Bank Statement yesterday showed that my money had been restored to me by said inept Company (so they are not crooks, at least), I decided to have another go. Lo and behold! The site leapt onto my screen, with my chosen rug full-frontal and in big close-up – with a button saying “Buy Now” next to it, and, even better, the price was further reduced by another £100. So I clicked “Buy Now” and obligingly the screen asked me to fill in name, address and payment method – all the stuff you would expect. The only problem was that it did not like, or trust, my Barclay’s Debit Card (known and honoured by thousands of outlets around the world – well, around East Sussex anyway). Nothing would persuade it to allow me to buy the rug using that card, so I burrowed into my handbag and found another. This one, they liked. So it all went through and I have an e-mail from the Inept Company congratulating me on my purchase! Result. Thank you God.
And truly, He has taken pity on your unfortunate blogger – because last week I undertook quite a safari to a branch of J.Lewis Esq. (who had assured me, on the telephone, that they stocked Oriental Rugs) in search of this item. When I arrived, after a journey of an-hour-and-three-quarters through a typhoon, I discovered that I had been misinformed and they stocked only modern, European-design rugs. Where do they get these daft young men from, who answer your telephone call and make a total mess of everything? (Yes, it was a young man who spoke for J.Lewis, just as it was a young man who garbled my address when I contacted the Inept Oriental Rug Company in the first place….) So, yes – God owed me one I think.
He has also been more than generous in respect of my bedroom slippers. OK, you don’t know about them, but I attempted to order a pair of (Price Reduced) bedroom slippers from a catalogue via the electric telephone to be told they did not have my size in the colour I wanted (Plum, since you ask) but could offer me Tan only. So I said no to the Tan, which, in truth, looked more like orange in the picture and who wants orange bedroom slippers? Orange slippers are for Wilhelmina-No-Mates, don’t you agree? So they said “sorry” and I said “sorry” and put the phone down and thought that was the end of the matter. A month passed during which time I searched for an alternative since the slippers I was then wearing were falling to pieces when, yesterday, I received a shoe-box-shaped parcel, which I opened (as you do) to find one pair of PLUM-COLOURED bedroom slippers in my size, with a note saying “Thank you for your Order” and charged at an even-lower price than the one advertised. And I am wearing them now and they are sooooo comfortable – my feet feel truly pampered.
We can add to that piece of good fortune the fact that Auntie Beeb, in her infinite wisdom and kindness to her Pensioners, has awarded me a TEN-POUND VOUCHER for winning the Caption Competition in “PROSPERO” – the BBC Retired Staff Magazine – this month – AND it can be spent at “TOY’S’R’US” and “MATALAN”….! Good old Auntie. Luckily it can also be spent at BOOTS or ICELAND – so that’s OK.
I don’t think I shall give God credit for that bit of good fortune, though. As the 11-year-old Margaret Roberts (later Thatcher) said to the teacher who awarded her a prize with the words, “You are a lucky girl.” – “Luck had nothing to do with it; I deserved it..”
But I am not happy. (Apparently that is what the diminutive John Bercow said when an MP reversed into his car in the House of Commons car park. “Well, which one are you then?” replied the MP.) Seriously though, the situation with the Russian Bear is beginning to become alarming. That a foreign agency should walk casually into a pizza-place in a quiet Cathedral City in this country, sprinkle some of the most deadly nerve-poisons developed by mankind around the place like grated Parmesan and then walk out as if nothing had happened, is outrageous. It must not be countenanced and now I fear the start of some sort of cyber or germ-Cold Warfare. And that is because we cannot let whoever authorised this get away with it and one thing will lead to another. The fact that this nerve-agent is apparently of Russian origin looks like a pretty big clue. I regret that our relationship with this huge and wonderful country, in which the ordinary people have suffered so terribly under their different tyrannical leaderships for centuries, has deteriorated so badly. If anybody watched the television programme called “VLADIMIR PUTIN; THE NEW TSAR” the other night there were many clues there – and it would seem that the UK has to take some blame for the situation and for losing Putin’s trust – though I suspect losing Putin’s trust is phenomenally easy to do.
Then we have China, instituting what is in effect a Dictatorship – and don’t let’s forget North Korea. I don’t like the sight of democracy vanishing around the world – do you?
On a lighter note – there are unmistakeable signs of spring around – but I fear this sweetness is to be short-lived, as the redoubtable Weather Forecasting Team on the telly are warning us of winds from Siberia again at the weekend with snow on Monday. And while we are on the subject of the weather-forecast I thought you might like to see some lines garnered from the sub-titling available to those of us whose hearing is no longer 100%. This gem is from a forecast over the recent Beast from the East period;
“Snow will be turning to brains with sleepiness moving away crusties dangling – winds turning towards the least. The critters will be out in force overnight…” Better watch out for they critters, eh? (FYI “crusties dangling” translates to “across East Anglia”.)
I do hope if the snow returns it won’t bring they critters with it.
THE ONGOING SAGA OF JUDE ET JIM – GERIATRIC LOVE-BIRDS;
Due to the extreme conditions recently, and the fact that the critters were out at night, Jude et Jim have not seen all that much of each other as Middle Earth was pretty-well cut off from civilisation for a few days. They communicated by telephone, however, and Jude formed a picture of the Hobbit Cottage beneath a dome of snow with just its chimney poking out, smoking away, as the Hobbit within went about cooking his casseroles and baking his pies against the dire emergency of not being able to get down to “The Coop” (the Co-Op – where most Hobbit supplies come from). When eventually they did meet up there were many Hobbit-jobs for Jim to do (a grab-rail for the shower, goodness knows how many replacement bulbs requiring mountaineering work to insert, WD40 applications to doors and windows…. you name it.) They have done nothing “cultural” lately as there is still a heap of BAFTA-provided DVD’s to go through so Jude let Jim watch “THE SHAPE OF WATER” while she prepared a rather delicious lasagne this weekend. “THE SHAPE OF WATER”, you may recall, won best Film at the Oscars. In the UK this film was totally (and unfairly) rubbished as a “drippy, sentimental, love/fantasy” and awarded two stars at most. And you know what? Jude liked it. She then wondered if her judgement had gone completely awry – but the Yanks demonstrated that she was not totally-off course. It is an odd one – very weird, but touching. Oh go and see it for yourselves – (you’ll probably hate it so you can blame Jude). Jim is “not sure what to make of it.”
STOP-PRESS BY HOBBIT-PHONE; Jim has just entered his Dark Room for the first time in about 10 years (he was a professional photographer in life) and discovered three of the drawers in there are housing a family of field-mice. (Altogether now – Aaaahhhhh.) I am sorry to report that he has shoved them all out into the cold (including the babies). Jude has told him they will die but Jim says that is the idea. In fact, Jude thinks they will all come creeping back in again when he isn’t looking as that is What They Do.
TIPS FOR OVER-SEVENTY-YEAR-OLDS; If there IS a God, maybe it behoves us to remember we might be meeting Him/Her/It sooner, rather than later….?