Young or Old

I was surprised to see on the web this morning that Archie Norman, now at Marks and Spencers, was suggesting they stock more clothes for the young. Any young people I know will not shop at M&S.

I am now in my eighties, but still enjoy buying clothes. One of my best friends and I used to shop regularly for clothes at M&S, but for several years now, there has been little to tempt us.

I buy food at M&S and usually walk round the clothes department, but many things are over fussy, too short or the material is not nice to the touch.

I thought M&S’s core customer base was the middle aged woman who was looking for something of good quality and stylish.

Last night I looked at M&S on the web for a winter dress. I found three of midi length. One was of very flimsy material, a second had so much material at the neckline I imagined being very uncomfortable in it in a warm room, the third was available only in sizes 8 & 10.

If M&S are to cater more for the young where do the rest of us shop for clothes which don’t cost the earth? There are numerous catalogues, but so often what looks tempting in a photograph turns out to be very disappointing or doesn’t fit and it is such a hassle returning them.


So Annoying!

Yesterday I had my day planned. I shopped at the supermarket in the morning, came home, did some work then had lunch. With my coffee I decided to have one of the chocolates I bought in the morning, but when I opened the box what a sight met my eyes. The chocolates were all white and stuck together and were obviously inedible. I knew I would not have an opportunity to go back, except for that afternoon because I was going away for a week. I, therefore, decided to go there and then. There was no problem having them changed. The young man at Customer Services was polite and apologetic. There were several people in front of me in queue all of whom were bringing something back because they wanted it changed. No one else had anything which was faulty. I know it was not the supermarket’s fault that the chocolates were unfit to be eaten, but wouldn’t it be nice if some small gesture was made in such circumstances for the waste of time and petrol on the customer’s part. Fortunately I live not far from the supermarket. If I had lived a long way off I might just have binned the chocolates.

Right Person

On Tuesday I was at the luncheon club where the speaker was a retired heart specialist. His topic was, “Heart Stopping Moments”. He had been speaking for only a few minutes when he saw that the woman beside whom he was standing had her eyes closed. He bent over and asked if he was boring her, but got no response. He quickly realised that something was wrong and went into action. Someone rang for an ambulance while others brought cushions and the  woman was soon lying on the floor having expert attention

When the ambulance came she was taken off to hospital and the speaker explained to us what had happened. Sometimes after a heavy meal and sitting in a warm room, one’s heart slows down to such an extent one falls unconscious. Instead of her heart beating about sixty times a minute,  the woman’s had been beating only four times a minute.

How fortuitous that a heart specialist was right on hand. How many people are that lucky when something goes wrong?

My battle with a Vacuum Cleaner

Not being as young as I used to be, I decided to buy a cordless vacuum and to stop using the big, heavy model I had. I purchased the new one at a local well known store, brought it home and soon had the separate parts all joined together. It was a joy to use after I had charged it for hours. I found it picked up better than any vacuum I have ever owned, but there was one flaw!  I could not get the floor tool off to attach the hose and the various implements which came along with the vacuum. I struggled and struggled to no avail. I looked up the instructions which were no help at all.

Eventually I went back to the store where I’d bought it. I spoke to a girl who told me it was difficult to remove this part and she said she couldn’t do it because she had hurt her thumb. She called to a man who agreed it was difficult. He picked up a vacuum from stock, sat down and put it over his knee. He was able, with some difficulty, to remove the part, but as I pointed out he was considerably stronger than I was.

He had two solutions. The first was to oil it. Since it wasn’t a hinge or something similar I was unwilling to do that. The second was not to bother with the attachments. He said his mother had one. She couldn’t remove the foot tool, so just used the vacuum without any of the extras. I was not happy about this.

I came home and tried again and again to remove the offending part, but it didn’t budge, so I wrote to the manufacturer. They also had two solutions. Remove the part regularly and it will become easier. Since I couldn’t remove it in the first place how could I do it regularly. The second solution was to take it back to where I’d bought it.

I did take it back to shop and a different young woman served me. She also agreed it was very difficult to remove this part which had initially fitted on quite easily. She sat down, put it upside down between her knees and tugged and it came off. She did this several times and got me to sit down to try. After a struggle I did get it off. She advised if I got the part off at home to put vaseline on the rim and it would get easier which it did. I now have full use of the vacuum.

I wonder how many unsuspecting women buy this make of vacuum only to find that while easily fitted together, it is very difficult to take apart It might be all right if you have a strong man around the house, but otherwise it is next door to impossible. All the assistants know it is difficult, but, of course, this is not mentioned in the sales talk.

How glad I am that I don’t give up easily! I am grateful to that second young woman who gave me useful tips.

Common Sense

What the lady judge said about girls getting drunk seems very sensible to me especially since she added that the men who raped were still to blame.

If a girl cannot remember what went on how does she know what she has agreed to?

I would be considered an old fuddy duddy being considerably older than the judge who gave this advice and in my young day girls didn’t go into pubs and very rarely got drunk. What is the fun in  getting in a state where you don’t know what’s going on? Probably end up being sick and having a hangover. Is this fun? It also seems a waste of money and often takes up the precious time of those working in A&E.

Red For Danger

More and more car drivers seem to be driving through red lights. I have counted as many as four doing so.
A few months ago, I was the first car at a junction where it is difficult to turn right because there is no protected allowance. As I edged forward three cars jumped the red light at terrific speed. The car behind me honked furiously. I know I had right of way, but if I had gone forward there would have been a crash because the cars coming through had no intention of stopping. I am surprised there aren’t more accidents. Are these people really in such a hurry that they can’t wait for next green light?


The other day a friend and I went to a pub we often frequent for lunch. We were about half way through our meal when a large crowd came in and sat at a long table next to us. From the moment they sat down they shrieked, they laughed and seemed to be trying to outdo each other by shouting louder and louder.

We couldn’t hear what each other was saying. Eventually we and the three young people sitting at a table on the other side of us moved to another part of the pub. Fortunately the place was big enough for us to do that. It was half term. Was this a crowd of noisy bad mannered teenagers? No, I would have thought the average age was around sixty. Some of the men in the party were obviously embarrassed at the noise the women were making.

When the waitress came to take their order she had to keep asking people to repeat what they wanted because some of the women were making so much noise.

Sometimes one has to make allowances for old people who are deaf, but I do not think these people were deaf. I’d like to bet they’re the type of people who complain about teenagers’ behaviour.