Open Wallet Surgery at The Vyne in Sherborne St John
Posted on February 3, 2022
I took my dad to the hospital today for a minor procedure. I knew I would have to wait around for a while, so I went to The Vyne, a National Trust place just outside Sherborne St John. The dog needed walking, so it seemed a good idea.
As I pulled up, I got the same feeling I always get at these
places. I knew that the cost would be just enough for me to say, “fuck me!”,
under my breath. Sure enough, as I approached, I noted that it was £13.00. £14.50,
if I wanted to indulge in Gift Aid. Gift Aid is a scheme I have yet to work out,
probably because I am usually informed of it whilst still in a state of shock.
I debated turning around but out popped two women from the kiosk. These women are always the same. They are kind, gentle and persuasive. They remind me of the Home Economics teacher who took me under her wing after witnessing the five thumbs on each of my hands struggling to make a fruit salad.
Before I knew it, I was totally emasculated, laughing in the face of sanity, and saying, “Go on then, I will do the joint membership at £120.00”. I wandered off into the grounds, justifying my purchase by remembering when I had to pay a fortune to park at Studland Bay. “Not anymore Bobby Boy!”, I said to myself.
It is a nice stroll around The Vyne. There are several lakeside and woodland walks where you can meander around. I said ‘good morning’ to wealthy yummy mummies with Porsche 911 pushchairs and repressed treble lock pensioners with wives that looked like Gordon Strachan. An eclectic mix, I thought.
I was one of a kind really. There was no one else like me. I am certainly not a yummy mummy or a treble lock pensioner, so I was thankful for having the dog with me. With a camera around my neck, a 54-year-old shuffle, and no dog by my side, I would have had sexual deviant written all over me.
I then meandered to the café where I swapped the deeds to my house for a warm cup of coffee and a slice of edible cake. On the day a £600 home fuel hike was announced, I was like a bipolar victim. I was indulging in irrational spending followed by an overwhelming and bleak sense of remorse.
I headed back through a walled garden where I saw a gardener
who looked like Ted from ‘The Fast Show’. Inexplicably exaggerating my Hampshire
accent to unacceptable levels, I said, “the ol’ daffs are popping up early
this year”. He gave me the kind of look I would expect if I had just defecated
in his flask. He replied with something I couldn’t quite make out, ‘Cunt’,
There was still no call from the hospital, so I drove back home about £130 worse off, determined to visit at least ten National Trust sites before next March.
Next Week: ‘My day at the Studland Bay car park’.