When I woke up at 6.30am on Monday 13th December I checked to see if I had my PCR results back yet and I had. The email had been sent at 11.55pm last night, after I had fallen asleep, and was negative so I could now go out. I googled the bus time table and saved screen shots as I wouldn’t have access to a phone, or be able to Google anything, once I left my parents’ internet and I went for the 8.35am bus in to town. As I hurried for the bus I heard my name called and turned around to see Amanda and her daughter off to walk her dog, what a lovely surprise. I was dressed warmly but I did feel the cold on my feet in my Volleys and thin socks as I waited for the bus, which came roughly on time and wasn’t too busy. A single bus journey to town (Sheffield) is £2.10 but a return is £3.60 so I went for that and the bus was occupied with only 50% mask wearers, the windows were open, no heating on and the driver didn’t wear a mask, which I was surprised about as there was a sign to say masks were compulsory. It didn’t take long to get to town and not much had changed along the route during the 3 years and 4 months I had been away. When I got off the bus in Fitzalan Square I did notice they had smartened up the area next to the bingo which lead to Arundel Gate and it looked much safer. I was at the bank by 9.05am but I wasn’t the first in the queue and had to wait a short while to sort out my expired/lost bank cards predicament. By 9.30am I was in a rather empty Marks & Spencer’s looking at winter boots to keep my feet warm and dry. I tried a pair on which fit perfectly and would be ideal in the rain so I bought them along with socks, knickers and bras. A lovely lady who worked there let me put my purchases to one side to pick up later and also I was able to use the free WiFi. My Mom sent me a message to say she was leaving home to go to the optician and, because I didn’t have a key or know if Dad would be in, I looked for an alternative to going straight back to Mosborough. I almost went to meet Gayle, my sister, at Meadowhall shopping centre but I’m not a fan of that place and a friend who worked there had just been commenting on Facebook how she was sick of people there not wearing masks in shops. Instead I decided to find a place for a spot of breakfast and saw that one of my old favourites was still around.

I decided to go to Marmaduke’s for my breakfast, it wasn’t too busy and the place had screens up between each table. I ordered a bacon sandwich with a cup of Yorkshire tea and it was served pretty promptly. The breakfast was excellent, there was free WiFi and I got a message from my Mom that she was back and Dad had been at home anyway. I decided to pay and go to get the next bus home, but I’d not accounted for the fact that, due to Corona, some places don’t accept cash and I had just cancelled all my English cards to get new ones reissued. All I had was my Turkish one which when presenting it to the waiter was told it was useless as it had no chip on it and I was meant to wave it at a tray like device he was holding. I had no idea what he was talking about and he now had to request help from his supervisor because I wasn’t allowed to pay cash. As I was explaining that my card is from a Turkish bank, he said the transaction had already gone through, without the need for a PIN or a signature, and I was shocked. Apparently I have a contactless card which I didn’t realise and so now I was able to get the bus back to Mosborough via Boots where I picked up some imodium, senocalm medication and a new ankle support (at a  cost of £23) as my ankle was still playing up from walking on hills. The bus station in Pond Street was very cold and completely empty, the bus had just 2 other people on. My sister had finished having her nails done and came over to my parents’ house bringing cakes and we all had a cup of tea while I tucked in to a massive piece of Yule log, Dad also had a piece but my Mom had fruit cake and Gayle had gluten free fruit cake. I had an idea that we should go out for a festive drink to the micropub on the Mosborough high street and I booked us a table online for 4.30pm. I’m not saying my Dad was keen to go but by 4.15pm he was at the door waiting to go to the pub. I’d not seen my sister in over 3 years so we decided to give the ball a bit of a kick, I had a gluten free IPA, my parents had a pint of stout each and Gayle had a mulled wine. I’d managed 2 pints of the IPA, 2 Brockman’s gin and ginger ales and possibly a Bailey’s.
It was great to catch up over a few drinks, the small pub was really good but, of course, we overdid it and by the time we’d had 6 rounds it was time to get a takeaway.  Gayle ordered curry from Khushboo and the rest of us ordered pizza but when we went back to get mom she was worse for wear and we had to send for reinforcements. My brother-in-law, Neil, came with the car and took us all the very short distance home and we had an impromptu party, where my niece must have thought we were all mental. This day has now been named Mad Monday by our family and we all burst out laughing every time we talk about it!

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