Cabin fever started to bite & the government announced a scheme to get people eating out to boost the economy so no brainer then, time to go out.
Hubby is an old petrol head who’s current machine is a Triumph Bonneville & on special occasions I am allowed on the back.
With the promise of buying coffee & cake we set off across the old Servern Bridge into South Wales. Whizzing along the lush green country roads past Tinturn Abbey to arrive at Monmouth. Parked up we ventured on foot to find a cafe & passed a rather tempting pasty shop on the way. The other half is not normally one to pass up a pie so I could tell we were going to be picking some up on the way home.
The allure of a care free life is the prospect of just being able to ‘pick up & go’ which is all very well but meant we had no bag to put the pasties in. Hubby kindly suggested me placing them inside my jacket. On a normal UK summers day this might not have been an unwelcome suggestion but not in temperatures of 30degrees plus! I wasn’t thrilled at prospect of adding to the bag collection however impending pasty purchase meant a shop foray was in order. Buff up around my face in lieu of a mask I went in.
Clutching the lurid pink plastic bag I joined a queue to pay & felt really conspicuous. Not because I was in half a bikers suit or attempting to buy a kids bag but it occurred to me I was the only one wearing a face covering of any sort. It really is entering a new phase of strangeness when you are uncertain of the etiquette of mask wearing. Perhaps I should write one?
Anyway pleased to report the pasties made it home unscathed and we enjoyed them very much. The cake was good to & since then have been trying to eat out more. The irony though on the day of the dentist appointment (yes I finally got one), I bit into a piece of seeded bread & knocked the ‘repair’ out & accidentally swallowed it so mask stayed on firmly until I reached the surgery.
Shopping as I recall pre covid was a pleasant activity especially if it involved coffee in a cafe & excluded buying groceries. So rashly I agreed to accompany my daughter to buy a new phone.
Driving & parking in was relatively painless to the point we nearly googled check that the shops were actually open, the streets were so empty. Approaching the phone shop we were met by a horde of employees armed with masks, wipes & thermometers who proceeded to quiz us of our intent. Kicking myself for my lack of preparedness in bringing a full hazmat suit I delved into my bag for my mask & wondering if we mistakenly trying to gain entry to some new form of ‘Escape Room’ where you had to puzzle your way in rather than out.
Unlike Noah going in two at a time wasn’t really encouraged but the assistant correctly sensing an impending ‘Karen moment’ aquiessed. Finally we concluded the deal after which I felt the need to seek caffeine preferably intravenously. Daughters predilection for a certain brand of cold brew meant a trek across the city to the only branch we knew of that was open & likely to have it. On arrival & expecting to just to get a take away we were amazed to be given the option of ‘drinking in’.
Yes the tables were spaced & the assistant was primed at the ready to decontaminate the minute any one rose from a chair but essentially they had managed to recreate something that felt relaxing. Refreshed we trotted back into the shops for round two. Honestly I have previously participated sparring sessions that have felt less arduous. Finally we took a deep breath & joined a 40 min queue to enter the shop that had systematic shopping down to a fine art long before covid to get a cupboard for . … yes covid cleaning equipment amongst other items.
I am now the self appointed queen of laminated covid warning signs having seemingly manufactured enough to deplete a small rainforest not to mention the plastic involved in the lamination process but we won’t go there. I have always considered myself quite public spirited & generally have always complied with rules but I must admit my limits have been sorely tested of late.
Well you will have to wait until next time. Meanwhile ‘mask up’ & stay safe.
On a brighter note I have as a bi product to all of this found myself to be on a steep digital learning curve in which I will be discovering how to produce content for digitally streaming live music. What could possibly go wrong?