Newent is a small town, with a long history. It has a medieval market that received it's charter in the twelfth century, it has an ieighteenth century church, a lake, and around 10 000 inhabitants of whom I am one. It is tucked away in the northern corner of Gloucestershire, three hours east of London and half an hour from Wales.
Yesterday I had cause to go about some business in town, so I paid twenty pence to park next to the lake, and set out to accomplish it.
The Library first. I use the library online mostly, downloading, for free, audio and e-books that sit under my hands here on my iPad, but I fancied holding a real book for a change. Quick check in the disaster-purse: the one that has so many nooks and crannies that I can never find anything in it, nothing. An even deeper scrutiny confirms my fear: no library card. Oh well, I'll chance it.
I explained to the librarian and she is wonderful." Do you have something with your name on? "
With pride, I draw my Labour Party membership card from my back pocket, and hand it over and am, after a quick check, able to pack in my bag a Grisham novel and a romance .
Next stop the doctors' surgery. I need a repeat prescription for my meds, and I've lost it. The pharmacist has to deal with losers like me all the time: "Name, first line of your address, medication" she says, not unkindly, handing me the 'write your details here if you've lost your repeat prescription' clipboard.
Now to the optician. Last Sunday, an arm fell off my spectacles and the temporary fix I'd cobbled with a pin and a pair of pliers is not aesthetically pleasing.
"I've lost a screw!" I explain to the unflappable receptionist. We both laugh at the ambiguity, and she offers to 'Look in the drawer," to find a replacement and effect a repair. "Finish your shopping and come back," she advises. ..
A woman a little younger than me turns from the florists window. It's Grace from Gloucester, who has come in on the 32 bus to rummage through the Charity Shops. She is a member of the congregation of Outdoor Church, of which I am a Trustee, and she is a friend. We stop to chat. I am a frequent shopper at the Charity Shops,. There is a regular turnover of stuff from my possession to theirs. We exchange pleasantries, and move on.
I have some grocery shopping to do: soft fruit, picked yesterday, from the green-grocer, and, from the Co-op, chickens (two for £7) and the Thursday sweetie 'bribe for good behaviour' for the grandchildren.' Who are my next stop.
There's a street vendor under the market house today, with a tempting array of loose summer tops. I succumb, and for £40 I am now the proud owner of a delightful outfit that will do for the Party party next week, and the Poetry Workshop on Saturday.
I sometimes put in a reminder that this blog is written for my grandchildren, and here it is: an ordinary day. Today the world is a happy place where kind people help an elderly woman who frequently loses things, and sometimes needs a little help to get by. I stop in amazement having written those words. "Good heavens! That's me!"
Believe it if you like X