A detour on my journey was to Boots the chemist to stock up on Keith's pain killers and some low dose dispersible aspirin (You see, Elder Daughter, I do listen to you and follow your advice!).
At 9.10 I approached the sales asistant.
"I'd like the larger pack of 400mg Ibuprofen please."
Sharp intake of breath and a determined expression on her face.
"Sorry, can't sell you those. The pharmacist isn't here till 10a.m."
Inward groan - forgot that the Nanny State won't allow us to buy nasty strong medicines all by ourselves. Outwardly polite, I said,
"O.K. Well I'll just have some 75mg dispersible aspirin then, please."
Shocked expression that I am trying it on yet again. Voice reminiscent of Joyce Grenfell when talking to 'George'.
"I'm sorry, I can't sell you those. The Pharmacist isn't here."
Thoughts briefly flit through my mind...
- Protest loudly at the stupidity of this state of affairs.
- Ask her what harm she thinks I am going to do to myself or anyone else armed with 75mg dispersible aspirin, for heaven's sake.
I smile through gritted teeth and leave.
Later, I return to Boots, where I am served, without question, by another assistant. This time the all-important pharmacist is in residence.
Is he aware of what I am buying? No
Does the assistant inform him that she is about to entrust me with these 'dangerous' drugs? No.
Would it have made any difference to him or me whether or not he knew what I was buying? Again, no.
Just the result of more mind games by politicians gradually extending their power over our ordinary, everyday lives.