Verity was convinced that I was not trying hard enough to get a life, so she insisted on taking me into town with her today. For lunch, naturally. “And while we’re here, we might as well have a wander through Debenhams.” She’s very difficult to argue with. And she was paying for lunch.
Despite the foul weather through most of last week, it was actually quite mild today and Verity was quite annoyed when I came to the front door togged out in coat, boots and umbrella. “Really,” she huffed. “You don’t need them. Leave them at home!” We compromised, and I left them in the car when we arrived.
It’s Freshers’ Week here too and it made me a little teary thinking of Celeste and what she might be getting up to – since she hasn’t phoned herself, just her foul-mouthed flatmate, I have no solid information – but it did also mean the streets were quite crowded with little groups of people who had absolutely no idea which way up they should be holding their small photocopied maps. The more intelligent ones, by which I probably mean the ones who should have gone to a proper university but evidently didn’t revise enough and didn’t get the necessary grades, were using their smart-phones to navigate. I was a bit baffled at first, watching them standing with their phones at arm’s length, rotating slightly and then striding off purposefully , until Verity explained what was going on.
“How would I know?” I whinged when being told yet again that I really needed to ‘get with’ the 21st century.
“Right, first things first, then, we’re going to sort you out with an iPhone. We can plug it in to charge up while we have lunch and then you’ll be good to go.”
You can see why I don’t argue with her.
Now, I do – sorry, did – have a phone but it’s quite an old one. Does phone calls and text messages but that’s about it. If there are any other functions on it, I haven’t figured them out. Verity frogmarched me past the busking harpist and into Carphone Warehouse before I could even get my little old brick out to show her.
It took so little time for Verity to guide the assistant through the process that we were only five minutes late for our table reservation. Verity quickly organised the maitre d’ into plugging the new phone in to charge up and the sommelier into pouring a couple of glasses of white wine and then the subject was dropped.
It was only after the starters, during which Verity spent most of the time telling me about her latest adoptee somewhere in Southern Africa, that we got onto the subject of my blog.
“It’s not good enough,” she informed me. “You have to do more things. No-one’s going to want to read a blog about whether you changed the scent of your loo-freshener! Get out and meet people, that’s what you need. Sitting in your dining room working out whether your little village newsletter can afford to buy a bunch of flowers for the vicar’s wife on her 75th birthday isn’t going to get you meeting anyone!”
I let her ramble on a bit more – she was paying for lunch, after all – but it reminded me that Deirdre hadn’t returned my call. Eventually, dessert arrived and Verity realised that I hadn’t commented on anything she’d said for about the last ten minutes.
“We’ll pop into the library after lunch, see what’s being advertised there,” she told me.
I didn’t know where the library was and was a little surprised that Verity did, but the world is full of surprises. Unlike the library. Verity forced me to join it and then selected some books for me so that I would have to return them at some point and possibly meet some more people on my next trip. She obviously hasn’t heard of renewal by phone...
There were no exciting events posted on the local events noticeboard by Verity’s standards and so we left. Walking back to the car, however, we wandered past the market and Verity spotted some iPhone-alike accessories.
“Just the thing,” she told me, picking up an assortment of garishly-coloured packets. “I’ll come round tomorrow and sort you with some apps. Can’t do it this afternoon, got a thing on.” And she swept me up and back into the car, dropping me off at home with a cheery wave and then speeding down the road.
I tried phoning Deirdre again but still got no answer. I’ve left another message but if she doesn’t get back to me, I’m going to have to go round and risk the wrath of the animal. Then I unpacked the supplies from the market stall. The OH lifted half an eyebrow when he saw the apparent booty from a shopping spree, but as soon as I told him that it was a late birthday present from Verity, he went back to reading the financial section of the paper. If George or Celeste were here, they could probably help me sort out what’s what, but in their absence, I shall just have to wait for Verity to sort it out.
Verity1 wrote: Far too much about my life here. You’re supposed to be writing about your life! See you tomorrow around 10 – I have a surprise planned!