I ripped an article out of a magazine in the waiting room just as my name flashed up to go through. He was a young doctor and he politely asked what the problem was as I pulled a list from my pocket...I was ready for him. His expression changed and he turned defensive and said 'You have ten minutes only, what is your priority on that list? 'All of them', I said. 'I rarely come here and it's nigh on impossible to get an appointment so I'm making the most of this visit and won't leave until I'm satisfied'. I think he got the message. Twenty minutes later saw me clutching a prescription and leaving on friendly terms.
I'll live...and I'm not deaf Bev!
Most of the rest of the day was spent in the studio.
At 3:00pm I met up with Bev for a chocolate at Starbucks. The chocolate was overpriced, small, barely hot and the tables dirty. That was our very last visit to Starbucks.
The next port of call was the optician that I had my eye test with last Saturday. 'I'm sorry Sir, but we don't put our lenses in a competitor's frame'. I was ready for her. I stood my ground as she called for the manager. Eventually, the manager relented and we sat down to finalise things.
Apparently, the Zeis lenses in the size needed to fit the rogue frames were not the £149 ones but the £315 + £35 fitting. I'm sure I saw a glint in her eye.
Something happened in the opticians that later had a bearing on what turned out to be the most frightening experience of my entire married life.
We decided on leaving the optician to go for a meal at the Lord Ted restaurant. As we entered (5:45pm), Bev suddenly realised she'd left her mobile at the optician and asked me to order while she walked the two minutes to the call box to phone them. I'd left my phone at home and the restaurant didn't have a public phone, so I agreed and went to find a table and order.
15 minutes later, Bev hadn't come back and I was quite concerned. The meals eventually arrived and I asked if they could keep them warm as my wife hadn't returned. I left the restaurant and noticed the car still parked. It was raining and I was very worried at this point. Perhaps she had returned and had to go to the loo, so I went back, sat down and waited. Forty minutes after arriving, my mind was doing overtime...still no Bev. Something was seriously wrong. There was no way that she wouldn't return within 10 minutes unless something had happened to prevent her.
I walked in the rain to the phone box and attempted to ring home...card only. I made a mental note never to leave my phone at home again. I didn't have a card with me. I stood outside the phone box completely baffled and convinced something terrible had happened. The car was still in the car park with my keys inside the glove compartment and another scout around the restaurant proved fruitless.
I was very worried as I returned to the empty phone box. She either had an accident and had been taken to hospital, had a seizure and lost her memory and is walking around Newark or has been attacked and lying in a ditch. A quick look around the bushes of the rehabilitation ex-offenders unit close to the restaurant gives you an indication of how plausible these options were to me by now.
It took me forty minutes to walk home. I hoped every car that passed would be Bev, but no such luck.
My first action on arriving home would be to phone the police. I was convinced the evening would yield awful results.
I approached the house...no car in the drive, but I noticed something red through the front door glass panel. It was Bev's coat and I found her sitting red-eyed and bewildered on the sofa.
I have never been so happy to see her.
Now what do YOU think happened?
After putting her card in the phone and dialling the optician, the message indicated insufficient funds. 'Insufficient funds! What on earth are you talking about?' She left the phone box exasperated and was just turning into the car park at about 6:00pm when she saw a silver Toyota Yaris with a male driver wearing glasses speed past her. She jumped up and down waving her arms and shouting for me to stop.
She couldn't believe her husband (who was sitting inside waiting for her) had just left the restaurant and driven past her. Why would he do that, she thought. Where was he going? Surely he could see me?
Unable to make sense of it, she walked all the way home in the rain...in tears.
Robin kindly gave us a lift back to have our meal and pick the car up. You can guess the topic of conversation as we ate.
Back home, Bev made us both a cup of hot chocolate that Starbucks can only dream of.
MIL said there was just one call...the opticians had rung to say they've found Bev's phone.