Despite the fact that it was perishing cold, Chloe stopped by first thing to ‘get my circulation going’, as she put it. I suspect that what really happened was that my circulation seized up completely, but when we got back from our power walk around the village – running into surprisingly few people, but then it is half-term so presumably everyone’s trying to stay in bed while the weather is so cold – I put the kettle on and we each had a cup of tea to thaw out. I felt slightly more human after that, so wrapping up in the closest I could find to thermals, I headed out to try and buy some card for my biscuit packaging.
Now, living in a village, a car is effectively essential. There is a bus, six days a week, so from that point of view, we’re quite lucky. It’s only once an hour, and the last bus, even on a Friday or Saturday, is at around 7 pm, but there is a bus. (Unless there’s been a lot of snow; back in January, we saw no buses for a week, apparently because the turning point in the village was too icy for the buses to turn, though since no-one had been out here, bus-driver, gritter, or otherwise, I’m not sure how they could tell.) But the car has become essential, and it’s become essential for everyone in the village. Many of the houses are quite old, so the parking possibilities on the properties are as good as non-existent, which means the cars are parked on the road. Factor in the second car that many households have these days and the frankly not very wide roads – they were designed for horses and carts, after all – and you can immediately see there’s going to be a problem. The buses certainly have problems at times, when the slalom run of one of the main roads has become just a little too tight for a double-decker to negotiate. The pubs, fortunately, have car-parks, though of course that implies its own little problem. But still.
Once you leave the village, heading for one of the nearby towns, the problems are exacerbated. The roads are no wider there and there are more cars. Parking is nearly always pay and display, assuming you can find a space somewhere local to where you’re going. A permanent supply of coins is recommended because none of the machines give change, and the amount you need to pay is never in multiples of £1. Anyway, I headed for the shop that Delyth had recommended and drove around the one-way system three times before I spotted a parking place that wasn’t the other end of town from where I needed to be.
The folks in the shop were very helpful, even allowing me to try folding different weights of card until I was satisfied with my purchase. They also recommended some tissue paper, to line the box, and I thought that I could maybe colour-coordinate the tissue and the box itself, with different colours for different flavours of biscuit. And they weren’t horrendously expensive, to make up for the cost of the parking.
The deli isn’t open today so I spent the rest of the day making boxes and lids and then loosely lining them with flimsy pinks and greens. Fortunately, the newsletter stuff has been tidied somewhat so there is room on the dining table for the stack that I am creating. Now I just need to make the biscuits to put in them.