They Say It Comes In Threes

I was having a good day yesterday. After the exhausting trip around Blackpool on Saturday, I slept really well, but I was still up early and hammering away at the keyboard (or chatting away into the microphone) by seven o’clock. By the time Her Indoors saw the light of day about half past twelve, I’d added almost 5,000 words to my WIP, my Nano project.

As a matter of interest that now stands at 11,500 words, and I’m well on target to complete 50,000 words before the end of the month.

I digress. Let’s get back to the main thrust of this post.

By one o’ clock yesterday afternoon I was feeling the pinch and in need of an hour’s sleep. I shut everything down, drank off the dregs of my cup of tea, and with the intention of hitting the settee for an hour, took my glasses off.

And right at that moment everything crashed.

As I took the glasses off, the arm came away. A couple of expletives later, armed with jeweller’s screwdrivers, I set about repairing them only to discover that for technical reasons which I won’t go into, mainly because I don’t understand them, they were beyond repair.

This was a disaster. Aside from a matching pair of sunglasses made up to the same prescription, they’re the only glasses I possess. I can’t drive without them, and because they’re varifocals, I can’t read or use the computer without them. I didn’t fancy working on the computer or reading or even driving in sunglasses, so we shot off down to the opticians at the supermarket where I always go for my glasses, where they carried out emergency surgery, knocking out the lenses from the sunglasses and putting the plain lenses in that frame.

I’m diabetic. I’m supposed to have my eyes tested every year, but working on the principle of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I tend to go every three years. So, after much finger wagging and tut-tutting from the optician’s assistant, I’ve made an appointment for an eye test and new goggles next Monday.

The missus insisted on coming with me yesterday. God knows why. She doesn’t drive so it’s not as if she could take over if the mangled glasses fell off my nose. When we got to the supermarket, while I negotiated with the optician, I learned precisely why she’d come with me. She wandered off looking at the Christmas goodies. And as I came away with my repaired speccy-takels, she insisted on picking up a few things in the way of Christmas gifts.

Now remember, at this point the only thing that is gone wrong with my day is a pair of broken face irons.

I always use shop and scan, and as she picked up these bits and pieces, I scanned them and grumbled about the price. The missus handed me three items of female persuasion, which I scanned and dropped into the trolley. Then she saw a better deal, and swapped the items over. Because we’re using shop and scan, the original items have to be removed and the new ones added, which I did. Then she changed her mind again, so I went through the same process again.

As luck would have it, I’m a Yorkshireman. People accuse us of being tight-fisted. Nonsense. Cautious is the word I would use, especially where money is concerned. So, as I made my way to the checkout, I looked at the amount she’d spent on these ‘Christmas bits and bobs’ (her description, not mine). It came to coppers over £47.00.

The next stage of the process is scanning everything into the checkout. Because some of these things were security tagged, I had to call an assistant to remove said tags. While this is going on Her Indoors shows up with a bottle of scent for herself, priced £12.00. I’m grumbling that I’ve already scanned everything in, she’s grumbling then she wants this bottle of toilet water, and the assistant is grumbling that it’s time for her tea break, and somewhere in amongst all this confusion, the bottle of scent was added and the price rocketed to over £70.00.

Call me old fashioned, but when I was a lad 47 plus 12 came to 59, not 71. It took another 10 minutes to sort it all out, I got the price back down to £59.00, and I still don’t know what went wrong. I do know that the assistant had missed her tea break and that my temper was on the up. So much so that I walked out of the shop and scan area without paying for the goods.

I’ve been accused of many things in my life, sometimes justifiably so, but I’ve never been a thief. Fortunately, I realised the mistake before I got to the tobacco counter, went back and paid for the purchases.

Driving home in high dudgeon, confident that my glasses wouldn’t fall off my face, I figured that was two strikes and I had another one to go. That happened later in the afternoon, but it’s of a confidential nature, so I can’t tell you anything about it. Suffice to say, it put the seal on what had started as a fine day and ended up nothing short of an unmitigated, bloody disaster.

Peril in Palmanova, Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery #15, published by Crooked Cat Books, exclusive to Amazon at:

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The Squire’s Lodge Murders, Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery #16 published by Crooked Cat Books, on December 13th 2017, is available for pre-order at:

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