Half a dozen large eggs, please.

You wouldn’t think that was a big ask, would you? George’s hens, along the far side of Chapel Lane, lay the most beautiful eggs, so after a request from my husband for more eggs, I set off with the dog, a carrier bag, and an empty egg box to fetch some. It’s a bitterly cold day, the wind still fresh after the storm of last night, and already the sun is low in the sky. Barely had lunch, and another day’s light will soon be gone.

I’m well wrapped up against the cold – two hats (I suffer from ear trouble and hate the cold in my ears) – the tassels done up firmly under my chin, thick gloves; no choice there as they’re the only pair I have. I have several odd gloves of differing styles, the remainder of the pairs of which are floating somewhere off Iceland by now; me, beaches, and gloves aren’t a winning combination, in fact, me and gloves aren’t…

Anyway, I have to walk through the village, so Kes, my little collie cross, and sometimes my little cross collie, is on a lead. We have a difference of opinion as to where we’re actually going, so I wave the egg box at her to demonstrate that I have a destination in mind. She’s totally deaf, so there’s no point me explaining. Anyway, I win the battle, and we set off up the road.

By now, my eyes and nose are running, and I have to transfer the dog lead to my other hand, so I can take off my glove, find a tissue in my coat pocket, and mop up. I know I am doomed to repeat this performance several times before I get home – cold wind and low sun do this to me. Tissue returned to pocket, I disentangle the carrier bag handle and dog lead from my glove, replace said glove and continue up the hill. By the time I get to the top, my legs are wobbly and I’m gasping for breath. I am at least warmer.

I repeat the exercise with the tissue, shuffling gloves, dog lead, and bag. The tissue is fairly damp by now. Onward…

In the middle of Chapel Lane, and I mean in the middle, it’s a narrow lane, Kes decides to drop her knickers. I have poo bags in the other pocket to the tissue. Gloves off and tucked between knees along with the dog lead, while I put down the carrier bag – bad idea, the wind grabs it, and I waddle after it like a woman who’s heard holding an asprin between her knees is a good contraceptive.

Back at the poo, still with dog lead and gloves between my knees, I find the poo bag, separate it from its clinging companions, pick up said poo, and secrete bag in pocket – right-hand as I’m left-handed, and the left is my tissue pocket. By now, it’s begun to hail; naturally, I’d just hung out the washing, my nose is running again, and I can’t see for tears. The tissue is getting decidedly soggy.

The colour of the sky suggests the hail might continue for a while, but there is blue sky beyond the cloud. I decide to continue. Gloves back on, grab dog’s lead before she does a runner down someone’s drive – she’s an awfully nosey dog, and on more than one occasion, I’ve had to retrieve her from someone’s living room when they had their front door open – and one poor chap had only opened it to the postman.

Hail is hellish sharp when it’s goes down the inside of your wellies, and you’re walking on it – then it goes all wet and cold. Not pleasant. However, blue is winning over black, and the sun has come out. It’s a pleasant walk out of the village to George’s farm. The lane in narrow and twisting, and you have to watch for the odd car that might not see you round a blind bend. The hedges are high, the lane sunken, and water runs off the fields and makes little rivers down the edges of the narrow verges of grass and bramble. I’m feeling quite warm by now as the wind is behind me. Through a field gate, I get a glimpse of Treffgarne Rock, a tall crag set on high moorland a few miles away. In the other directions, were I little farther along, I’d see Plumstone Mountain and Roch Castle.

I reach George’s and go through the glove removal and dog lead between knees routine again. Last time I let go of Kes here, she investigated the chickens and frightened them half to death. Most embarrassing. Might as well blow my eyes, and wipe my nose while my gloves are off. Must wring this tissue out. I lift the lid off the black plastic box where George keeps the eggs. Good, he has a box of extra large. I lift them out and wrestle with the carrier bag, which the wind has decided to have a game with. Eggs in bag. I put the bag on the dustbin at my side while fumbling in my back pocket for cash.

I’m counting out the small change into the margarine tub when Mrs George – sorry, I don’t know her name – opened the gate. I’d have looked up and had a proper conversation with her, but it isn’t easy when your nose and eyes are running, and you’re bent over, holding a pair of thick gloves and a dog lead between your knees while trying to see what coins you’re putting into her cash box. Anyway, we exchanged pleasantries – she was on her way to work. She must work Sunday’s regularly, because it was a Sunday last time I went for eggs, and she was on her way to work then as well. Or perhaps, she was trying to politely escape the weeping mad woman with the back and knee problem.

I caught the box of extra-large eggs just as the wind gusted and blew them off the dustbin. I resecured the lid to the plastic box, then realised I hadn’t left the empty egg box I’d brought to replace the full one, and had to undo it again, fighting the gale all the while.

Right. My tissue has disintrigated by now, so I wave tattered soggy bits of it at my nose and wipe my eyes on my sleeve – did I mention I wear glasses? Oh joy. Bag with eggs, dog lead, two gloves, tissue disaster, and spectacles – wet spectacles, because I wept all over them.

I don’t even like eggs that much.

I decide not to walk on farther but to head for home. Gloves on, dog lead in left hand, bag in right, and we’re off. The wind is now in my face, and it’s bitter, but after a few yards, I’m boiling. It always happens when I stop walking, for some reason. It’s as if the wind-chill factor keeps me cool, and standing still out of the wind while wrestling with egg buying has brought me out in one of those hot flushes menopausal women will understand far too well. I mean, it has to come off – everything, now, before I turn into a frazzled morsel of burst toast. I’m on fire.

Dog lead is back between my knees, I try to keep hold of the eggs while tugging off my gloves and clawing at the tassles that I tied so firmly under my chin. Another second of ovenlike imprisonment, and I shall grab the Swiss Army knife I keep in my jeans’ pocket and cut the bugger. Phew, the hats are off, both of them, and the cold air is like being rescued from drowning in boiling oil.

I am stuffing my gloves and hat into the carrier bag with the eggs when a car comes round the corner. Kes, naturally, not being under tight control due to the lead being between my knees is in the middle of the road. I drop the bag, grab her round the middle, and haul her into the bank. The woman in the car smiles and waves, as everyone does round here whether you know them or not. We’re well versed in the way of giving way to idiots holding asprins between their legs on narrow country lanes, and everyone is very good-natured about it.

I retrieve my bag, and disentangle the tassles of my hat from the bramble that they’ve woven themselves around almost inextricably and stagger on before another car comes. Kes trots placidly at my side. She’s a lovely dog, very good natured and patient with ‘asprin knees’. We’ve had her almost thirteen years after she was rescued by ‘Four Paws’ from a dog pound, having been found that February living rough on the streets of Caerphilly. She was seven months old, filthy, and pitifully thin. I think she’d been thrown out after Christmas. It makes me want to weep to think of her out there in the cold for what must have been weeks.

She’s curled up on the best chair with a blanket and a cushion, now, fast asleep.

Anyway, back to the bitter wind in my face. My ears are freezing, but I’m hoping they’ll act like elephants’ ears and cool my blood to stop it boiling. I’m sure there’s steam coming out of them… The good thing is that now I don’t have those damn gloves on, the task of getting the miserable clump of mushy tissue out of my pocket is that much easier. I resist wiping my nose on my sleeve instead.

I’m now walking into the sun and can’t see a thing. My balance isn’t the best as I suffer from Laberynthitis, the ear problem I mentioned, and I know I’m not walking in a very straight line – I’m just not sure what straight is anymore or even what upright is some days. I pass a couple of people – no idea who as I can’t see for the sun, and they obviously think I’m mad or drunk as they don’t say hello. I have the same effect on a group of five people with a Labrador. I stagger on into the sun. The wind whips my lockdown hair across my face and into my streaming eyes. The tissue is definitely a ‘no’ by now. I don’t think I’ve had my hair cut for eighteen months – it needed doing when we went into lockdown, and due to living in a tourist area, we old and vulnerable haven’t ever come out of lockdown. As soon as the Welsh government allows travel, we’re descended on by potentially virus-carrying tourists and have to remain indoors. I doubt anyone thinks of that.

Moan over. I have the important task of getting home against the increasing gale and the eye-watering glare of the sun at eye level, shaded only by lank wisps of uncontrollable, wet, salty hair. The gale hits me full force as I crest the hill by the chapel, and I lean into it, doggedly – not quite on all fours but close – trudging forward in my wobbly not-straight line. My ears hurt with the cold, but I suffer the pain womanfully; the steam has at last stopped coming out of them so the elephant theory works.

Down the h

I’m soaked. Husband informed me it was ‘helling’ it down. The washing! I ran out in shirt sleeves and wellies to bring it in. Now the sun is out! FFS!

Where was I? Down the hill, and I’m home. Hosepipe and soap to wash the dog’s feet in case of bringing virus into the house, poo bag in dustbin, wellies off, coat, hat, and gloves in cupboard, dog lead and collar on hook. Eggs in the fridge and the kettle on. Feet up and a nice cuppa.

Next time my husband wants eggs, he can fetch the buggers himself…

Oh, and now it’s snowing.

http://author.to/RebeccaBryn


15 thoughts on “Half a dozen large eggs, please.

  1. To think I’ve just complained on Theresa’s blog that I’m climbing the walls with boredom.
    They are dry, warm, walls, and I have Tesco eggs in the fridge in case I fancy one, which isn’t very likely.
    I did promise Him Indoors Toad in the Hole for dinner…

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    1. To be honest, Sarah, I’m so fed up with Tesco’s ideas on quality and value for money, I’m craving a family butcher, a greengrocer, and a local bakery, like the ‘good old days’. I’m praying for a comeback of the high street, or at least the farmers’ market, when – if – things ever get back to normal. These eggs are actually worth eating. They were worth the pain. 🙂

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  2. Ah the joy of dog walks. You should try it with 3- it’s like flying a kite in a storm. Just took my 3 out early to test their new harnesses before some snow we are expecting later. Sounds like my walk was less eventful apart from one of our gang deciding walking with a harness was not for her. I had 2 boys eager to pull from the front and one girl walking at a snail’s pace behind me in protest. .. did I start this comment with ‘the joy of dog walks?’🤔☘️🎈

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    1. We used to have four dogs, three Labradors and a terrier, and the two cats would come along for the walk as well. I well remember yelling at Katy, our black Labrador to hurry up while I was holding open gates. God, she was slow when she wanted to be. Fortunately, we never had to do much lead walking, living on a moor with a wild valley to our other side. Great days. We often say how much we wish we could have them all back. Not sure Kes would; I think she likes being an only dog and getting all the food. She’d never compete with three Labradors. 🙂

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  3. Patrick, I too have a dog story. My favourite walk is a short drive away, so this morning off we went, dog on the front passenger seat – you can’t get a Weimaraner in the back of Audi Quatro – only to find even the grass was covered in frozen snow. I crossed the icy carpark hanging on to her car harness and praying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re lucky you’re allowed to drive to exercise. We’re stuck with on foot only. However, we have hail and rain but no ice, so grateful for that. Falling over with my bones, I can do without.

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