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23 December 2010

Posted by DMC on 23 December 2010 in Diary |

Today was all about rushing round to pick up the last of the food and presents and gift wrapping them, none with which, sadly, I could help. Jane — the sheep — came which allowed ‘my lovely’ to slip out to the shops and, at least, pick up our turkey.

Lynn, our very conscientious OT, insisted on coming to prepare some more hand splints for me as she would be off until 8 January and didn’t wish to leave it that long. Wasn’t that kind and considerate of her bearing in mind the proximity of Christmas and the amount she has to do in preparation for her own family celebrations. What I now have is purpose-made splints that not many keep my wrist straight from my arm would also stretch my curling fingers. The hope is that, over time, we managed to stretch the tendons back a little or, at least,  delay the curling process.

Sadly, shopping today is now turning more and more towards the Internet. I suppose I should be grateful because it’s perfect from my point of view. For example, I was able to secure a book from Amazon, for which  Alice really did not have time to go and hunt, and it arrived yesterday, despite the bad weather, which was a great blessing, as did another giant present ordered as a surprise for somebody, from Smiler.

For many years now, when it comes to Christmas, birthdays and wedding anniversaries, I have always allowed  ‘my lovely’ to buy her own presents. This is not really as chauvinistic as it sounds. In the early days of our marriage I would wander round the ladies departments and select some attractive lacy negligee, or whatever, and, perhaps having found something I thought suitable, ask one of the lady assistants, who looked roughly the same size as Alice, to hold up against herself. I’m not sure that this was particularly popular! Even taking this precaution I would often end up with the wrong size, and after ‘my lovely’ had made the usual kind comments about how thoughtful I was and she really loved it, and so on, receive the  enquiry from her ‘ did you keep the bill’. I soon realised that it would be far better if, during the year, on  her almost weekly visits to antique fairs, she found things that she really loved that I could buy from her and put away Then I could bring them out, On an appropriate occasion, hoping perhaps she’d forgotten what it was, and therefore it would be somewhat of a surprise. I thought would really work best, and it has. The only problem now is that I can no longer even wrap up the wretched presents  – there are  usually two or three, particularly at Christmas –  or write a nice little salutation in the card. The poor old thing as to do the whole process herself. The only saving grace being that, at least, I still pay for them but even then she has to make and signed the cheque as I can no longer write.

Talking of shopping there is a move afoot, it seems, to phase out cheques. ‘My lovely’ does not subscribe to Internet banking., She does not really like giving her credit card details over the telephone and I have a great deal of sympathy with her and the thousands of other elderly people who are just not ‘into computers’. In fact she accosted our local MP in the supermarket yesterday  – I’m sure he was thrilled to bits! – to make the point, as, only this very day she had received notification from her bank informing her that they would no longer guarantee her cheques if she did not have sufficient money in her account to cover the amount being drawn out.  In her case this is unlikely to be a problem-unlike, when I married her when she had happily run up a large overdraft, mainly spent on hats and dresses!-but is this the beginning of the end of cheques and what will replace them for people like ‘ my lovely’ -Postal orders?

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