Out and about

Christmas Eve seems to have become running errands day.

Today Linda had to go up to the cemetery to put fresh flowers on Cathy’s grave, before heading off to the cathedral for mass – today led by the bishop, no less. Not being of a religious bent, I decided to wait for her in what used to be called CafĂ© Rodi, but which is now called Henry’s, or some such similar, and enjoy a bacon roll and a cup of coffee. I didn’t manage to spin it out for an hour, and since there were no newsagents open and I had left my phone in the car, I decided to go for a drive to while away the 40 minutes until church came out. This is where I ended up, on a wet and windy morning looking out at the Tay and dodging gulls.

Our first port of call once I picked Linda up from church was the supermarket for “a few last-minute” items, that included bottles of prosecco, wine, beer and gin as well as chocolate and various waters for adding to gin and prosecco. It was not a cheap “last-minute shop”. Linda, seeing me counting up the price of the goods in the trolley in my head ordered me to the cafe to wait for her there and to leave her to get on with it. I did as instructed, had a pot of tea and was given a free mince pie for my trouble. I really do like mince pies, but I am also a diabetic, so I really shouldn’t be eating them… but it is Christmas, and my willpower is weak.

Car loaded, we had more errands to run: first to Linda’s nephew’s family to drop off our presents for them while picking up their presents for us, in a ritual that highlights the craziness of Christmas. I did feel sorry for them, though – their boiled broke down, so they had no heating in the house and no hot water, and, they also had the flu. What a time for it to happen. Anyway, anxious not to contract the lurgy we beat a retreat and made our way on to our last stop, to exchange gifts with Linda’s brother and to drop off our gifts for her niece and her family. This ended in a trip to the pub where I got to drink coke and watch them drink something altogether more enjoyable. Such is the life of the designated driver – although I suppose it was really my fault for taking my car, which Linda does not like driving because it is an automatic and a lot bigger than she’s used to, rather than Linda’s (although it probably would have made no difference – I would still have had to drive).

Still, despite the dreich weather and the crowds, it was nice to get out and about and to have the chance to see people before Christmas. So, that said, I hope you all have a very happy day celebrating whatever you celebrate at this time of the year. Now I no longer need to drive for the rest of the night, I can hear a bottle of gin calling my name.