Sunday Service 

If I had been allowed to sleep until lunchtime today, that would have been fine by me. I was in bed later than usual because we had gone out to see Dara O’ Briain the night before (who was very good) but as keen as I was to go to bed, sleep was not keen to find me.

I have been sleeping quite badly lately and I am not sure why. It might be that I am getting too hot under the duvet and the dogs, or it may be that I am allowing myself little naps on the weekend which is creating a vicious cycle. Either way, there were not going to be any naps today.

I actually spent the morning walk with the dogs thinking about an idea for a short story, and in a perfect world I would have been able to come home from the walk, make a cup of coffee, sit at my desk overlooking the lake and tap away as I worked out the plot lines and characters.

Problem is, I do not live near a lake and I had shopping to get done before having to drive my husband into work because there was no train service for some reason. So I drove to the shop – a small Chinese supermarket which sells vegetables, including the enoki mushrooms that I am still kind of crazy about – and stacked my basket while trying to remember the idea for later.

At the till, the slim young woman carefully picked out each item and transferred it to my bag, singing a little tune each time she did so. I watched her for a while, ringing up my purchases like a tiny, exotic bird. She then realised what she had been doing and blushed.

‘Oh I am sorry,’ she said, ‘I like to sing when I am working. I did not realise I was doing it.’

And I laughed with her and said, ‘Please don’t stop. It is lovely.’

My purchases came to just over $50. Usually when this happens, the shop gives you a small tray of fruit on top of what you have bought by way of a thank you, and sure enough, she dipped behind the counter and turned to present me with something. I quite like this – a bit of added fruit is always going to be a good thing.

‘Here you are’, she smiled and presented me with a packet of Oreo cookies.

I did not have the heart to tell her that I was currently on a low-to-no carb diet which definitely had no room for sugar.

‘Thank you, ‘ I said and took them. Maybe just the grumpy customers get fruit and the ones who let them sing get the good stuff.

‘Wait!’ She said and then produced a loaf of white bread, which she tucked into my bag, followed almost immediately by a second loaf of bread. She sure did have a big bucket of complimentary carbs back there.

‘Thank you, again,’ I said.

‘Expires today!’ She explained,  ‘you must eat today.’

Clearly, I still have a little way to go before I no longer look like the kind of woman who can sit down to a two-loaf snack.

As it happened, I knew where I could off-load one of the loaves straight away and it was my next stop after dropping my husband at work. My mother has a friend coming to visit next week and so I had offered to go over and help her strip the beds and clean out the guest bathroom as well. As this is the one my dad currently uses, we also had to get all his gear upstairs while he, like the dogs, managed to unfailing settle upon the very piece of furniture we were about to turn our attention to each time he moved to avoid the housework.

I thought I had only been there a couple of hours but it was half four by the time I loaded the dogs into the car and set off for the park where I used to walk Moody, our previous dog. Lots of trees, lots of stuff to sniff and so it was nearly six o’clock by the time I got home. I was tired, hungry and stinking of bleach and only had a couple of hours before I had to pick my husband up from work again so concentrated on food and a shower in the time that I had.

I have made a note of the short story title and maybe I will have time to write it during the week. I am still not sure how it is going to work out and I am pretty sure it is derivative of Vonnegut, but hopefully it will be fun to give it a go, just not today, because today was about looking after other people, and once in a while that is not a bad responsibity to have.


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