What’s that behind you. It’s that pesky grief sneaking up on you again.

Lost in a world of spreadsheets and work while listening to the radio. It’s a rock station so plenty of Aerosmith , Foo Fighters and Pink Floyd. Playing a game of which bands I’ve seen and which I might still see. Then an innocuous advert. NEXT sale starts at 7am.

Nothing wrong with that surely.

Suddenly taken back to a now closed off world. In the immediate aftermath of the funeral I took bag after bag of NEXT clothes to the charity shop. NEXT was her favourite shop. It’s just not right that I’m here and she is not. Tears. A few minutes later the mood has changed. More memories.

My partners ears would always prick up if she heard the two words NEXT and SALE. The alarm would be set 6am. For the big New Years sale it would be set for 5am.

Come on bag man get up.

That was my role. Trudge down to the store. Try to look vaguely interested. Then don’t get in the way and hold the potential purchase items. Occasionally chipping in with a helpful thats nice. Then the bagman carries the laden bags home. For the next couple of hours while our partner tries on the truck load of clothes I replenish all the lost calories with coffee and biscuits. Then bagman sets off back to NEXT again to take back the unwanted items. On the return visit I would briefly look at the Men’s section. A few muttered are you sure these are sales prices and its off to the coffee shop to reflect on the joy which is knowing that’s the sales are finished for 6 months. Not sure how she put up with me….

It’s smiles and tears now.

Spending money on clothes has been replaced with spending money on school.

Dad have you paid for the school reward trip?

Yes I have but like the NEXT sales I’m struggling to get my head round it. All the kids at the school who didn’t get a detention or didn’t pick up too many negatives qualify for a reward. The reward is a trip to a cool destination. As it was a school reward I assumed school would pay for it. NO. Parents have to pay. So the parents of kids who behaved badly don’t have to fork out this wedge of cash. Life was easier when I was the bagman.

39 thoughts on “Bagman

  1. Beautiful flower and a very endearing post. If you’re not one of the best dads in the United Kingdom I don’t know who is. Grief pops up often and maybe one of the reasons is that it reminds us we’re still here we’re still doing our best and we just have to keep on doing that. Good luck and keep writing, it helps.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It is so nice to reward your son using your money. That sounds like some mixture of bribery and theft, a con of some kind. Have you talked to a lawyer. Maybe you can sue them for false pretentions or something.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you not get one free meeting with a lawyer? We do in Canada. So the first lawyer you contact you ask the basics. Depending on the lawyers answers, you set up a slightly more informative set of questions for a second lawyer from a different firm. And so on. Not that I think you can take on the school, or school board by yourself, but this would seem to be destined for a class action suit if you can interest a lawyer in it on a conditional basis. Your school administration seems like they are feeling unfettered with your pocketbook. They know you do not want to disappoint your child, so they put you in a lose-lose situation. They probably don’t even realize they are doing it (yeah, sure)!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some lawyers will do that but not many. Free legal aid has been clamped down by this Government, more and more areas are excluded from the scheme. So if your poor and are not able to get legal aid it’s over to some charities and trade unions who offer it.


      3. Amazing. Hate to say it, but you live in the wrong country for social programs. Neither is your son receiving the help he needs. Like America, seems Britain is capitalism gone wild.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful Gladi pic – very reminiscent of the soon to be thousands of mine that will light up several areas of my front and back gardens. 🙂

    “I assumed the school would pay for it…”

    Have you not being paying attention recently??? I’m surprised the school is not charging equivalent school fees to the private colleges yet! 😦

    There are always so many ‘innocent’ little things that set off the memory of great loss huh?

    There needs to be some form of anaesthetic that eases the grip with which it grabs hold of your windpipe and/or unmentionables you can apply at such moments.

    Stopping them from happening all together is unlikely to be occurring in the foreseeable future.


    Liked by 2 people

      1. They’ve been in the ground for so long i can’t clearly remember planting any of them. I certainly never bought that many and the weird thing is there seem to be more each year with usually one new bunch where they weren’t any before?

        Maybe the fairies plant them??? They make a good fairy flower, i’m sure.

        Liked by 1 person

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