Shopping in Tilling and Breathing in Meeting

As I write the low-hanging sun is shining in my right eye: I’ve just been out and found it a hell of a lot warmer than I thought so progressed down Queen’s Rd discarding hat, gloves etc as I shopped.  I feel like a resident of Tilling* doing my little ‘shoppings’ with my shopping-basket, popping here and popping there, saying hallo to this or that person as I pass from Green and Pleasant (toothpaste and yeast, if you’re interested) to Sainsbury’s (nothing – the shop doesn’t impress me and one of their onions was mouldy yesterday) and round the back popping out near the Co-op (wine and blast! forgot the biscuits so was forced to pop into the corner shop where due to a cash crisis I could only afford chocolate.

And so home.  Mark went to counselling this morning where he did so well that he is now ‘signed off’: apparently he is so totally sorted that no more therapy is needed.  That’s good then… wish I was… on the other hand, last night he had an argument with a kerb resulting in a badly bashed-up face (nothing broken, but lots of blood and swelling) so he has gone to have a cracked front tooth looked at.

Yesterday I went once more to the Quaker Meeting.  This was good, on the whole, though marred by a horrid and insensitive woman who came up to me at the end.  I was feeling suitably chilled and imagined that she, like many others, had come to chat and to welcome me.  Not a bit of it.  She had come to complain.

‘I felt I had to tell you,’ she said, ‘that I found your breathing very disturbing.’

My breathing??

‘I had to move,’ she went on, in a prim and rather self-righteous way.

I stammered out something to the effect that I was sorry to hear it.  Frankly, words failed me.

‘I just thought I had to tell you,’ she repeated.

But why did you have to tell me? I thought as she retreated, having ruined my morning.  I was really quite upset and had a chat about it afterwards with some people, all of whom thought she was out of order.  I mean, for God’s sake, my breathing???  Apart from the fact that I have asthma and so my breathing is what it is, it’s not particularly loud.  I try quite hard not to disturb people and I even went to the lengths of taking the battery out of my mobile in case it went off, so I was quite hurt by her comments.

So *** you, fussy woman!  You’re like the princess with the pea…

And onwards and upwards, and so to a very pleasant afternoon and evening with Peter, doing yoga and experiencing the sheer joy of our dining-room table.

Kirk out

*as in the ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels of E F Benson

PS Oh, and just to show you how civilised everyone is round here, on the way to the shops I had to squeeze past some cars and a couple coming the other way not only waited for me but smiled and said ‘You’re quicker than we are,’ and then in the Co-op someone who was before me at the till allowed me to go first saying ‘you’ve got less stuff than I have.’

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