Thursday …14th … Overcast, with a chilling cold wind.
Laundry day, so after brekkie we set the washing machine going, and as Norma has business to attend that doesn’t require our help or support, she leaves us at the shopping centre in Wigan with a mobile phone so she can catch up with us when she is able.
Again I am hoping to find a hairdresser, I was well over due for a hair cut even before Easter, the problem being my daughter’s friend, a single mum of grown children still at home was a hairdresser, then changed her profession to become a school teacher, meaning she isn’t always available to do my hair.
Vanity has never been a fault of mine, but I do prefer to look neat and tidy, so here I am in the UK meeting people I haven’t seen for over a decade, and meeting new ones daily, with a mop of over long white hair that at the best of times resembles a swirling snow storm. I spot a hair dresser and hurry in, on asking if they have a vacancy I’m told not until three pm … it is now only eleven am, regretfully I decline.
Pat is after a blouse, so we head of to Marks & Spencers, find nothing suitable but there is an abundance of clothing shops, all with their spring sales in full swing, and we have plenty of time so we head of to do the rounds and have a bit of fun trying on different cloths as we go.
Norma rings and tracks us down, we all continue shopping until we eventually not only find a blouse for Pat but Norma finds one to her liking as well, I end up buying myself some colourful socks, I admit I am a bit of a peacock when it comes to choosing clothes for myself.
We decide it’s coffee time trying on cloths at sale time is thirsty work, so head off to what now seems to be the best place to go to get our coffee, Pat drinks hot chocolate made with soy milk and not many coffee shops have it, she is delighted to find the Barista remembered her and her personal preference for soy milk.
After our refreshments, Norma suggests that there is a hairdresser in the market place that she has used once before, if I would like to give her a go, Oh yesssss please. An hour later I emerge from the little one-operator hairdresser shop set in a corner of the market place, albeit in a section that was undercover, sporting the nicest haircut I have had in many years, cut exactly as I requested, and done with such a professional and friendly manner, that when she told me her fee,that was less than it cost at home, I was so thrilled that I made it up to what I normally paid.
As by this time, we had all accomplished what we had set out to do, we headed home, and being well past lunch time it was a drink of choice and make-your-own sandwich affair.
Norma then suggested as we had a free afternoon why not go next door and visit her best friend Nora, they have been neighbours for over forty five years, not forgetting she had been asking us in every so often, and we did need to thank her personally for the delicious chocolate éclairs she had made for us a few days earlier. A widow of long standing she has a deep love for birds, and with that in mind she has set her back garden up to attract them, they have feeders and water set out, one set for the large species, such as pigeons, crows and magpies, and a smaller set for the robins and sparrows etc.
Sitting in her kitchen with a huge picture window overlooking this little bird haven was like looking into an open aviary, birds constantly flittering in and out to the feeders or feeding from the colourful flowers specially selected with them in mind, all this constructed by a fun lady who is so badly affected by osteoarthritis that she has trouble walking.
To conclude what had been a rather stress free day, we had elected to buy fish and chips for Pat and Norma’s dinner, while I chose to have a piece of the leftover chicken from the previous night. Susan and Gemma dropped in, the support of Norma’s family is amazing while the other two were at the fish shop, we were sitting chatting when Norma and Pat returned, I heard Pat say something, but didn’t catch it, but both Susan and Gemma jumped to their feet and rushed out to the car, it appears that Pat had said Norma has had a nasty fall. As they all came into the room I could hear Norma saying, I am fine, it’s ok, I will put a cold pack on it, she turned revealing a huge swollen lump above her right temple, she had tripped on a stony area near the shop, we all wanted her to have a Doctor check it out but she refused.
As Susan and Gemma reluctantly left we assured them we would watch her carefully, and give them a ring if we were worried, after dinner we settled her in the lounge in front of TV and kept her company until bed time.
To b continued