It was going to be such an easy journey… Now that here, where we live, for the moment – and possibly a too brief moment, we are allowed to meet others, carefully and socially distanced, my writing chums and I arranged to go to a park where a café was open. Instead of hugs we saluted, bought our coffees and sat around a table an arms-length from each other. We chatted, and laughed, and caught up with our news, talked about the forthcoming muted celebrations and drank coffee. We exchanged gifts and cards and made tentative plans for a distant future. We’re fortunate that as writers we have another world we can go to!
We said au revoir and went our separate ways and I went back to the car. I had several calls to make which was why I was driving, delivering a card to a dear friend and calling at the surgery to pick up a prescription.
All was well until I came to a junction, rounded a corner and saw a dustcart approaching. It’s a narrow road, and parked cars along one side meant that I couldn’t pass it. I couldn’t reverse as not only were there cars behind me, but another dustcart on the other side of the junction, so no point in doing a three point turn and going the other way. I saw a space ahead to pull in between the parked cars and waited for the dustmen to do their sterling work. They are heroes, the dustmen, whatever the weather – and today it was raining, they do their job as quickly and efficiently as they can. These days each dustcart has different recycling compartments, so they dustmen have to sort through people’s recycled waste – and not everyone does it correctly, and not everyone washes things such as tins and bottles, so it must be a smelly and horrid job sometime.
I didn’t mind waiting for them, but I did notice a queue of cars behind them. It took them fifteen minutes to come past me, but that was ok, but of course they continued their slow progress past me, followed by the trail of cars, so it was another ten minutes before I could pull out to continue my journey… except a delivery driver had parked half on the pavement to leap out and take a parcel to someone’s house, and I had to wait behind him. No matter, no point in fretting, I waited and at last we set off and I managed to find a place to stop near my friend’s house and leapt out to put her card through her door.
I went on to the surgery and as usual there was a queue waiting to see the pharmacist, outside, with masks, and fortunately it was no longer raining. I got to the front and spoke to the pharmacist who went to look for my things, I stepped to one side and suddenly man was there beside me at the hatch, leaning his face almost into the pharmacy. I stepped well back, thinking how inconsiderate he was – not to me, I didn’t mind waiting but to the people working there, even though he did have his mask on. Eventually he had what he needed and the pharmacist called to me… my prescription wasn’t in, even though I’d ordered it a week ago. Oh well…
The rest of my journey was uneventful, but what a long time it had taken to get from the park where I’d met my friends, back to home!