I did something very grown up last week. For the last ten years or so I have been collecting my medicines from my doctors' surgery, happily chatting to the lovely girls who run the dispensary every couple of weeks or so. On parking up last Friday (this is never straightforward as the number of spaces is far outweighed by the doctors, nurses and office staff; any patients might as well get the bus there or die quietly at home), I noticed that large signs had appeared at various locations, warning of parking restrictions and future costs for the up till now free car park.
Now this car park and I go back a long way. There have been many times when I have eventually found a parking space, having driven round the car park four times, only realising too late that all the driving has caused me to miss my appointment altogether. You then have to do the walk of shame past the receptionists, who tell you to sit quietly in the corner while they see if you can be fitted in sometime in the future. This is usually at least an hour and three quarters but it has been known to be as long as ten days (the car park was exceptionally busy that morning in my defence...)
So having read the signs, I told the dispensary that from now on I would collect my medicines from a chemist in town, thus freeing up one car park space for 10 minutes every fortnight. Wasn't that thoughtful of me?
Yesterday was medicine collection day. I headed off to my chosen chemist late afternoon, planning to nip into the Tesco Express opposite for some food, as yet again every cupboard and the fridge were full of tumbleweeds and cobwebs. (Even my Mrs Beeton's Recipe Book doesn't have a one which includes these ingredients).
The supermarket looked quiet, so collecting a basket from the door, I sauntered in to get a few items which would pad out my fridge a little, staving the hunger of son number 2 and the ever foraging husband. As I was standing looking at the fourteen types of ham, desperately trying to work out what the bloody difference was, a tsunami of children suddenly turned the corner at the top of my aisle, and hurried towards me. I was all that stood between them and the chocolate section, and there was a nano-second when our eyes met, when I thought I might have stood a chance. However, the lure of purple (thank you Dairy Milk) proved too powerful, and they bulldozed past me, narrowly avoiding tipping me into the fridge with the ham and the crab sticks.
Brushing myself down, I limped towards the tills to pay. In the time it took me to do this, seven children had done an equivalent of a trolley dash, and were waiting patiently to pay. As my turn approached, the girl on the till stared at me, wide-eyed and a little hysterical.
Leaning over the counter, in a low whisper, she said,
'Never come in here between 3.30-4.00. They unleash hell when those kids get out of school'.
Now there's a girl who loves her job...