The universal shrug


So, continuing from my last moan about avoiding potholes at your peril, and the fact that all we can do at the end of the day is shrug.

My grandson tried endlessly to get a second driving test from the DVLA. There was a six-month waiting list locally to Oxfordshire, but only three months if he travelled to Bodmin in Cornwall. You need to download an app that notifies of any cancellation; however you have to be incredibly quick – remind you of something?. My grandson only succeeded because they had JUST added bank holidays to try and catch up. Lucky fellow.

The next little drama, with a small ‘d’, was my husband’s. Last Saturday’s hospital appointment in Eastbourne. It was to check his cataracts performed by Benenden Hospital, and involved very blind-making eye drops. Naturally hero wife was going to drive, but he insisted going by train as it would be much more relaxing because he had no idea how long the whole procedure would take (and without divulging a family secret, he just adores trains). I eventually backed down, feeling a worm, but then …hey…there was a train strike! We shrugged.

The word first class mail is meaningless I’m afraid. My husband still puts expensive lst class stamps of our monarch on envelopes, and even talks to the king about it, …but ultimately shrugs.

In the last month we have learned about the NHS managers and their tin-eared response to the knowledgeable and caring doctors in the Lucy Letby case. We seethed with anger, misery and disbelief, then eventually all we could do was shrug.

The NatWest bank (bailed out by you and me) debacle, debank anyone they don’t like and with their tin-eared response in trying to keep Dame Alison Rose on, as well as paying her an enormous golden handshake… for failure: we raged inside with impotence, and then shrugged.

We won’t even talk about working from the beach/home, or energy prices, or strikes at airports, railways and so on and so forth. The trouble with these enormous problems and not shrugging and letting them go, is that the¬†subject wears you down and makes you utterly miserable if you dwell on any one of them too long.

We used to write to the letters page and our MP, but have given up all that. We just shrug and get on with our lives. There is a lot of ‘apres nous le deluge’, which is tragic.

And now our poor children, having been messed around through lockdown, when work on aerated concrete maybe should / could have taken place, are now shunted out of collapsing buildings on the first day of term. It beggars belief and our collective blood pressure again rocketed but, after swearing at the TV, we all just shrugged.

Yet, just as a last paragraph. My cousin came to stay and the hairdressers were all working, the nail bar too. Visits to the estate agents proved very productive. Not to mention shops, coffee bars and restaurants. No shrugging needed…but I am saying nothing!

Image Credits: Nick Forman .

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