22 July 2010 (Thursday) - An Old Mate

In March 1993 I answered an advert in a sci-fi magazine from a chap who was looking for like-minded mates in his area with whom he could form a sci-fi fan club. It turned out this chap’s area was Margate and he thought I was too far away for us to bother forming any club, but he put me in contact with a fellow Ashfordian. And (as they say) the rest is history. Over the intervening seventeen years so much has happened, and I don’t think any of us would have missed it for anything. Friends have come and gone to places all over the world, and most of us keep in touch, or if not in touch, know of someone who keeps in touch.

This morning I had a Facebook request from one of the old gang. He’s been in Guernsey for some time, and I last saw him a couple of years ago. I was so pleased to hear from Robin Huss!

And having done the monthly accounts and found I’m far more skint than I ever imagined, I set off to work via the shops. Yesterday I forgot some bits and pieces, so I thought I’d give Sainsbury’s a go. The place was awash with doddering O.A.P.s. Well, to be more precise, not so much “doddering” as “blundering”; not one was looking where it was walking, and they were crashing into shopping trolleys, shelves, each other. Resisting the temptation to slap one particularly ubiquitous old biddy round the lug (everywhere I went, she beat me to it!) I got most of my shopping. In fact all of it except the fish food. In Sainsbury’s “Pet Food” is “Dog and Cat Food”; they don’t cater for birds, fish and various other domesticated beasts. So I went to the pet shop in Bybrook Barn. This is somewhere that amazes me – the first time I ever went to this place I met one of the worst shop assistants I have ever met. Full of her own importance, arrogant, patronising, and still not actually knowing very much about her chosen subject. I can’t believe that after all these years she’s still there. And just as useless as ever.

If only there was somewhere else within an hour’s drive where I could get my piscine products….

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