Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Friday, 14 March 2008

Me ? Stressed ? Nah ....

After a too strong cup of coffee yesterday I developed a migraine and woke with the words volterol volterol volterol swimming in a soup of my thoughts .
All traces of headache were gone however and the jelly legs were not a problem under the circumstances .
Suffice to say there was a lot going on and if I mention police , shoplifting and "trouble last night" you will understand I want to say no more in order to protect the anonymity of the teens .

I felt relatively calm with all this , having had occasion to spend many a happy hour myself in the police station in my twenties , working as I did in the juvenile justice Industry as indeed it was then . And having gone through all the permutations in my head and having been assured by N that she was not involved , I made a few phone calls to the other parents then decided to go about my day , first taking half an hour in Cafe Royal to calm my nerves ... just an excuse and there would have been another if not this ( Alice chasing a Yorkie , Kitty going for my throat , there would have ben something ) .

I thought I was doing fine , even the fact that ricotta and berry muffins have been temporarily removed from the menus left me unphased and I changed my order to green tea and a cinammon twist , but I have to confess, my chickens came home to roost in Marks and Spencer Food Hall .
I had selected a Colin the Caterpillar birthday cake for Nat , despite the teen thing ( fourteen next week ) she still likes her Colin cake .... two pots of salad , and decided to brave the self serve check out where you run your own card through the card reader , scan your own purchases and hey presto Bob's your Auntie you are through there faster than it takes to shoplift the basketload ( slap my wrist did I say that ... )

I arrive at the checkout area and realise I have no basket to unload , having just collected my purchases in my arms . Mistake number one .
A robotic voice makes some comment about this which I can't make out , so I ignore . Bleep!

I fluff out one of the plastic carrier bags sitting there waiting for me to load up with my stuff .

I can almost hear the machine whirring ... what is she doing ? Bleep !

I scan the first pot of salad and place it in the bag . Bleep !

" Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area " says the Robotic Voice loudly

"Please use our bag , or press the button to indicate you are using your own bag " , it adds , sounding put out .

I glance around .
What ?
I am using their bag .
There is no unexpected item in the bagging area , just a pot of their stupid salad , couscous to be precise .

I press a button , lift the salad out and re scan . Huge mistake .

This sends things haywire and the Robot starts bleeping angrily and giving out conflicing messages .
The last thing I hear is Please use our bag !

I lose it .
" I am using your fucking bag . " I say waspishly " so Fuck Off "

A ripple of tension goes through the queue .

An assistant appears as if from nowhere .
Is everything ok ?
No I tell her , and you may have heard me uttering profanities at your machine .
She says not a word ( not understanding profanity perhaps ?), presses some buttons , but becomes quite aereated herself when I move too swiftly and threaten to start the whole process off again on the wrong foot .
My final faux pas is to place a birthday card purchaed from another store into the bag and she shrieks No ! ( but at least a human shriek and not a robotic one ) . She tries to explain this will be weighed and will then alert the machine that it has not been scanned . And then ....
I scoop up the bag and make off .
Perhaps I am more bothered than I will admit by recent events ......

There were additional factors . N's grandmother was also admitted to hospital in Belfast with a clot in her lung and awaits a scan .

Overall , this was a wonderful day , with many sunny moments .
I have been tagged by BetteJo and must write seven wierd things about myself . I catch D looking at me and know he feels most things about me are wierd .
I will attend to this tomorrow , though perhaps " talking to machines as a matter of course " would count as number one . ? There is no shortage of material for this one though .....

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