Last week, finding a pint of milk rather too heavy to add to my carry-home shopping, I ordered it 'on-line' with the goods that my Mother would have called 'dry goods'. That would be cat litter, washing powder and anti-bac hand wash, for instance. I duly found some pictures of milk containers and duly clicked. Dear Reader, what arrived was the biggest container of milk I have ever seen. So unlikely am I to get through it before it goes off that I was tempted to throw most of it away there and then. Had I kept the pint/litre plastic container that I had finished, I might have refilled it. It had, however, already disappeared in to the re-cycling bin. Unforunately, this was not the first on-line ordering disaster. In my 'fridge is a jar of Marmite - a sort of yeast based spread, if you are in Mountview California - which one loves or hates - the size of an about to deliver pregnant tummy. There is also a slice of Parmesan cheese that's too hard for me to grate and more sea salt than there is in the Atlantic. I hear you: I should be more vigilant but I am not very good at pictures and icons and, I suspect, part of me treats the computer like an assisstant in a grocery shop who is listening to me and, well, assisting. "Does Madame want one litre of milk or two?" for example.
There have been some successes, though. I ordered some hair-spray on-line and, after waiting for help to open the parcel, found the item I wanted and had accurately ordered. You may recall I also bought a note-book that way. Sadly, it was only a close approximation of the one I couldn't find in a real live shop but I am too mean - cheap - to discard it. I have been known to buy tickets for events on-line. I say this with overweening pride, but, why spoil a good story with the truth? Were I to tell the truth it would be that I get as far as the pay page and then the transaction falls apart. I am reduced to telephoning the venue, difficult if it is around midnight when the mood takes me. Aside from one totally marvellous venue with an old-lady-proof website, I can't even select a seat competently. I have found myself in 'prestige' seats and in the ' Gods', too far up to see the stage, let alone the people on it. If I were to be alerted by the price as to the high or low of my choice things may go better. By the time I realise there is a mistake I can't retrieve the pay page. Nor can I find my hard goods order again if I remember something I forgot to order in the first place. "Your order can be revised until 6.17 pm the day before delivery". No it can't. The transaction is lost to me. I know, I know. I appear to have forgotten the Curse of the Wizard of Cyberspace. I truly thought that, by ignoring him, he would leave my life: no chance. Out of thought simply means more vulnerable. In a rather up-market boutique I saw a perfect dress. It didn't exist in my size. The lovely lady in the shop suggested I try on-line. Not being in confessional mood, I acquiesced. I felt rather grown-up and courageous even in the attempt. Two hours later I knew a very great deal about confusion, had not seen even a whisper of the item I craved on the hundreds of click-ons and was ready to throw away the computer. Prudently - though serendipidously - I installed a grille over the window behind my computer table. By the time that would be unlocked and opened and the window, itself, dealt with the urge for destruction would have defused - of the computer, that is. I might still have lost the will to live, myself. Tell me that I am doing well enough for more than three score and ten, I beseech you. Any solace is worth the pain. Nos da