First response

Photo: I didn’t have time to change the tyre. Red Roller tyre Rules.

Today is the first day of the new tax year. I was getting off to a cracking start by completing my tax return for the year ending 5th April 2020 when the alarm went off.

It was the first alert from my NHS Volunteer Responder app since being accepted last week. An elderly gentlemen in isolation needed some shopping. Simple enough. Or so you might think.

So keen was I to complete my first task I had no time to change my red roller tyre and I forgot to take my lock with me. A quick 7km to collect the shopping list from the old guy and off to the shop.

Not being able to lock my bike I took it into the supermarket. With every item safely in the basket there was just one item left. A French stick. There were none, so I texted the guy and he said rolls would do. I was in the queue when I spotted some French sticks in the back of the bakery. There were no staff so I spoke to a manager who got one for me. Nice touch, thank you. I put the rolls back and re-joined the queue. At this point another manager appeared and told me I had to put my bike outside. I explained my mission but it made no difference. He assured me the security guard would look after it. “100%, I guarantee it”. I hoped so.

The check out lady put the French stick to one side and said ” Did you get this from the bakery?”. I confirmed I did. “You should not have taken it, the bakery is closed”. I explained what happened. “You shouldn’t have asked a manager, they know nothing. This bread is stale, I won’t sell it to you”. That told me! Now I was breadless. Keeping the long queue waiting I ran back to pick up the rolls for the second time, pay up and head for my bike. At least it was still there.

I didn’t have the heart to explain to the old boy how close I’d come to getting his French stick, but he was happy enough.

The reward for doing this is knowing that someone has been helped out during this difficult time. As a little bonus ASDA had two items our local Waitrose had run out of.

We now have Branston pickle and Marmite again. Result.

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