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Friday, February 23, 2007

Piddle and Lidl

I was dreading going out yesterday, as it was utterly piddling down when I woke up. I had to get the cat to the PDSA by 14.45, and when I looked in my purse, I had just £1.65. So I had no choice but to head to town, to hunt out a cashpoint. I resigned myself to getting soaked through. But I think the sun gods were smiling on me yesterday, as about thirty seconds before I stepped outside, the rain stopped. Before I was even half way to town, the sun came out with such a fierce heat for this time of year, that I truly regretted wearing my bulky winter coat. The heat really was freaky for the time of year.

I managed to take the cat by surprise, and pop her in her cage before she had a chance to realise what was happening. Although I'd changed into a light, cotton-knit jumper, with a thin hoodie over it, the walk to the bus stop, with a heavy cage containing a wailing, writhing cat, was also a sweaty and unpleasant experience. I soon stripped the hoodie off, but was still baking. Luckily, a bus arrived pretty quickly, and I easily made my connection at the Quadrant.

I hate going to the PDSA. Even after taking two buses, the nearest I can usually get is three quarters of a mile away from it, at Tesco Llansamlet. I rarely get an appointment that coincides with the two-hourly 145 service, which stops almost opposite the end of Viking Way, where PDSA is. I felt so cruddy again yesterday, I got a taxi up and back to and from Tesco, adding £3 onto the cost of the journey.

Another reason I hate going to the PDSA, is the sheer number of dogs in the place, usually unwashed, stinking dogs. The smell yesterday was especially bad, and I wasn't the only person grossed out by it. On the subject of gross, someone walked in with a male bull mastiff in a state of extreme sexual arousal. Most people thought it was funny, but it made me feel quite queasy, as I'm not a dog fan. Luckily, we were in and out of there fairly quickly, although I did end up having a bit of a conflict with a young girl working on reception.

Last Friday, I phoned the PDSA after spotting a flea, and asked if it was alright for me to go up and buy a household flea spray. The young girl in question said it was. So I made my way up, catching the 144, which took me on an extended, magical mystery tour of parts of town I never knew existed, before finally dropping me off outside Tesco Llansamlet. I chugged three quarters of a mile uphill in piddling rain, and arrived at the PDSA soaked to the skin. I was then informed that they had no household flea spray in stock. Although angry, I didn't kick off, as it wasn't the fault of the lady then manning the reception desk.

The saga continued yesterday. I asked the young girl for a flea spray, having been told on Friday that it would be available from Wednesday. The girl disappeared, and returned with a can of Indorex. Great, I thought, standing there with a tenner in my hand, ready to pay. 'Oh', she said, 'it's not on the system. I can't sell it to you'. So I said, 'let me get this right. You are holding the product I want. I have the money to pay for it. Yet you won't sell it to me'. 'It needs a head nurse to put it on the system, and there isn't one available' she said, 'you'll have to get it next month when you come up'. Next month, my backside! I waited until they got someone to put it on the system. That young girl has a snotty attitude at the best of times, so I was really in her bad books by then. She chucked my change at me, the silly fool. Luckily, our return journey went like clockwork. My taxi arrived within two minutes, as there was one around the corner. A bus arrived at the Tesco bus stop within five minutes. Fifteen minutes later, I'd boarded my bus home.

I went back out almost as soon as I got home, as I had a day ticket to get the most from. First stop was Wilkinson, where I was pleased to find some small cacti on sale for 80p each. I love cacti, as vicious as they can be. They're the only plants that seem to survive in my not so tender care, because I always forget to water things. I bought five, and will probably get a few more, if they continue to sell them. I also bought two pretty, painted clay planters, for the two much larger cacti I bought last year in Morrisons. I stocked up on catnip drops too, as my cat, Leo, is a catnip junkie.

Next stop was Lidl, via the no.33 bus to Parc Tawe. Although it's not the most aesthetically pleasing shop in town, it sells some good quality food at very low prices. I came out with three huge bags of shopping, which cost me just £10.39. Best buys included three huge leeks for 59p, a whole French Camembert for 65p, a big wedge of French Brie for 55p, a 1 kg tub of lovely natural yogurt packed with chocolate strands for 99p, and a decent-sized pack of sliced chicken breast for 49p. The only downside of the trip, is that I spent so long browsing the store, it was about 18.15 by the time I got out. I didn't realise that Parc Tawe's bus service switches from about once every five minutes, to hourly, at a certain time of the evening. As a result, I waited almost forty minutes for a bus. Never mind, it was dry and mild.

I was knackered when I got home, and had intended an early night. But I ended up chatting on MSN, to some friends overseas, until gone 4 am - I was horrified when I realised the time, especially as I'd been awake since 06.45 yesterday. As a result, I overslept today, and didn't wake until 11 am, and still feel utterly shattered. Never mind. I just hope I can get out and about with my camera over the next few days.

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