Going cryptic

On Monday it was my turn to deliver shopping to people who are self-isolating in our village. The greengrocer patiently explained where each house was and whether the occupant would leave an envelope with payment or have paid on the phone. All clear. I stuffed boxes and bags into the back of my Mini (the seats are always down because of the dogs) and drove off. Half way to the first drop off point I realised that

a) I am driving towards the wrong end of the village

b) I forgot all my instructions concerning the other drop offs. Every single one.

I looked at the labels on the bags. One simply said ‘The Cottage’. Oh bother. Which street? Which cottage? I pulled over, opened the boot of the car and stared at my cargo. And stared and stared. Until my lazy brain used to idleness due to constant ironing and washing for the b&b, found a shred of its previous ability. I scrambled inside the information I was given (so recently!) and within 45 minutes delivered all the care packages.

I was stunned at my inability to analyse and remember. Scared actually. It transpired that other than reading (quite passive) and routine house and b&b work my brain has been laying dormant.

In come the cryptic crosswords. I always admired people who can complete them. I can’t. Mostly because I don’t know where to start.  So I downloaded some easy beginners’ ones. And every day struggle through one. With the assistance of my dear M, who has the sheet with the answers but isn’t allowed to tell me what the solution is. Only to suggest a route to it. OMG it’s hard! The puzzles, optimistically named ‘Coffee Break Cryptic’ take several coffees, a lunch and a dinner to complete. And an amazing amount of scribbling and head scratching. But I finish. And am proud as punch.C5ADB0AF-4FDC-44D3-8180-AEBEB925E6D2

So far from slowing down, after all this isolation and quarantine madness my brain will emerge as a ‘Fish given to one with cat, perhaps an impish young one?

(clue courtesy of wordplays.com)

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