Friday, 28 June 2013

Helping each other

 I spent the early morning outside working in the garden. Just as I came indoors to get a cold beverage, my phone rang.
A very good friend of mine on the other end.
"What are you up to?"
"Just came inside from working in the garden. Are you watching me?  I just this minute came inside."
"I would like a small favour please."
"Tell me."
"I need to go into the city to collect some glasses that are ready at the optician. It means having to deal with the stress of midday traffic in the city and parking and walking back to the store. Can you go with me and I'll drop you off at the store to collect for me?  I'll circle the block and come back around for you."
"No problem. Give me 12 minutes to get ready."
"Twelve minutes only?  Are you sure?"
"Yes I'm sure, I  don't take long to get ready like some women.....a quick shower and some clothes on my back and I'll be ready in 12 minutes."
"Okay, see you then."

I had a quick shower, dressed in a pair of jeans and a shirt, and sat outside to wait.
Geminis are sticklers for time, and so I did not have to wait very long before he pulled up.
Just as he predicted, the midday traffic was terrible, and the journey took  a bit longer than usual.
Outside the city store, I hopped out the car, and went into the optician's office, and collected the prescription glasses.
Ran into one of my girlfriends from college, whom I hadn't seen in  awhile, and had a nice little chat with her.  Decided to pay my store card, since the optician's office was in that particular store.
Took the escalator back downstairs, and only had to wait outside the store for a few minutes before my friend pulled up, and away we went.

"Since we're out, do you have any errands to run?" he asked.
"Only the supermarket," I told him.
"I'll take you," he said.
I guess he wanted to help me out too as a way of saying thanks.  It wasn't necessary though, but he insisted.
So it was, I completed my supermarket shopping before the weekend month-end rush....yeah!
By then we were both hungry.   He  took me to meet his lunch van lady.
Now every one on the island has their favourite lunch van vendor.  I like my lunch van lady too.
These vans are usually a little pickup van with the back configured to store chafing pans of mouth-watering meals.
He kept on raving about how good "his lunch lady's food" was, so I agreed to try out the food of the infamous Harriette, with the brown van that is stationed outside the bank in Warrens.
Nice little setup she had too, with a numeric system, and a wide array of dishes.
I must admit I was impressed.  I had the pasta alfredo, macaroni pie, rice and peas, steamed veggies, tossed salad, baked chicken, and a small helping of beef stew for you know who.
Lunch was my thank you treat. Of course you know what happens next.  My friend will want to repay me, and the ball of kindness/helpfulness will keep on rolling around and around.
YESSSSSS!!! The food was delicious.....I may have to change my lunch lady after all.

In case you're wondering, you can't just decide you want to operate a lunch van. You must be certified by the Ministry of Health to sell food to the public. Inspections take place at the food preparation site, and health inspectors can be seen checking every now and then.
I found this youtube's not Harriette's van.

Thank goodness  I did not have to wait until I was older to discover this.


  1. Most interesting, Virginia, But I didn't understand the idea of a a numeric system, can you explain please? Your lunch vans sound so much more exciting than anything we have on wheels - bacon butties are about the limit usually. Though I saw, for the first time, curry and rice being served from a van when we went to Speke Hall Tudor Fair earlier this year. It didn't quite fit in with the Tudor theme but was intersting.

    1. Hi CJ, the numeric system I referred to were little laminated numbers hanging on a spike at the side of the van. You walk up and take a number, and that way no one else can say "I was here first" or "she came after me."
      There are then no arguments about who the last piece of lasagne or pork chop goes to.
      Hers was the only van I've seen the numeric system. When I walk up to a van I always check to see who is ahead of me (no queues are formed). But invariably there will be someone who will come and say they were there before and that they just went around to the front of the van (where the beverages are) to get a drink or some such thing.
      Next time I'll get photos.

  2. Nice post. I am also wondering how you knew you would take 12 minutes, that is a very precise time. Do you have a little routine you go through to get ready?
    (If I say I'll take 10 minutes, that usually really means "any amount of time" so you see I am interested in this point! )

    1. Oh Jenny, I am not sure if I can help seem to be one of "those other women" that I referred again.
      I don't rush to get ready at all. I know exactly how long it takes me to bathe and look presentable. I'm a jeans girl, so I just slip into a pair of jeans and a nice blouse.
      I don't like pressing (ironing) so I never buy clothes that need to be ironed.
      I wear my hair short, so there there is no fuss or mess there either. No makeup either (except lip balm/lipstick) unless I'm going somewhere special. I'm always wearing my jewelry, and I have not worn a watch in over 13 years, so no worries there either.
      Lotions and creams I don't wear until the cooler months, since in the heat that we have here, it makes me quite miserable to have all that stuff on my skin. I take an omega 3-6-9 supplement and that along with good vitamins keeps my skin supple and smooth.
      Hope I've covered it all....and in less than 12 minutes too!!

  3. Virginia CJ and I are exactly the same when it comes to time and punctuality (and I'm a Geminian too as you know). Like you if I say I'll be ready in 12 minutes then 12 minutes (or less) it will be. I love the Audrey Hepburn quote (which I didn't know of).

    1. GB, I believe in punctuality. I don't like folks wasting my time, so therefore I respect their time as's just common courtesy really.


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