I'm in John Lewis, still finding my way around after they changed the layout. That was probably two years ago but I'm a reluctant shopper, only going when very pushed and even then I can't sustain the trip too long.
Deep in haberdashery I'm having a daft conversation about an ironing board cover. It's patterned with rulers. I can't quite see myself measuring and ironing at the same time even though I'm pretty good at other multitasking combinations but you never know, and it's about time I replaced the present cover which is actually an old curtain. The talk is all about whether the sales assistant can remove the packaging so I can see the shape of the cover. It’s unclear from the label that it is ironing board shaped and the instructions, in six languages but not in English, are not helping.
Long wait over, sales assistant initiative taken, I'm at the pay point, hands full of bias binding, pair of small scissors, packaging, ironing board cover and I have no money. Well, that's not strictly true, I have all my cards but no cash. That's not strictly true either. When I manage to open my purse I can see about twenty five pence plus whatever the coin is that rolls onto the floor because it didn't make it to the purse proper but lurked in the opening, probably waiting for this moment in my day. I don't bother to look for it, I'm trying to imagine where the notes I'd had in my hand before I left home might be.
I carry on through the shop, down the list I made at breakfast, paying for items with my cards even when they cost tuppence, including a bowl of soup which I balance on a tray beside several bags of shopping. My receipt is handed to me with an offer to carry my tray. This makes me feel ten years older than the age I felt in front of a changing room mirror. There I'd decided I looked at least five years older than yesterday. So when the car park pay machine refuses to acknowledge my ticket and a man trying to fix the adjacent machine has to tell me three times that I've put it in the credit card slot I drive home contemplating my 97th birthday.
I've just had a third try at getting the ironing board cover to fit. In case you're wondering, the money was in my glove drawer and, you guessed it, I’ve no idea why.