Big cosmic joke!

Ever searched for a pearl on a beach? This is how I spent my final hours in my seaside idyll.

My mates had joined us for the middle weekend of the holiday and, knowing how much I hate shopping (hah!), Denise had thrust upon me a jewel encrusted silver ring straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean, topped with a big pearl. It was gorgeous and I never took it off. (To see how much I hate shopping, check out my little movie:

Which was the problem when it came to packing on the final day. For somewhere between chucking the laundry into the case and locking the car boot, a calamity had occurred.

While Loved One performed the sad task of returning the keys to the agent – and hunting down that final pasty – I took a stroll on the beach. I looked down to admire my finery and found nuthin’ but a spike staring back at me where the pearl had been. Sinking heart. Deflated spirits. How was I going to break this to Denise?

Fast forward to last Thursday in the Finchley Road Vue centre. First stop Homebase. We need a shopping trolley. Woman about to return trolley to bay and presumably retrieve her quid. I bounce up and offer her a quid to save the hassle of detatching one for myself. When it comes to retrieving the pound coin … there is none. She’d accepted my pound knowing she hadn’t put one in in the first place. One for the minus column.

We move on to Sainsbury’s for the big fortnightly shop. I’m at the checkout about to pack the groceries into my own bags (for I am that person who would rather use my own ones that use up more resources to manufacture than carrier bags but last longer and make me feel better) and I open up the padded cool bag … and there is my pearl, winking shyly and wondering if I’d missed it. I stood there stunned, readers. Stunned!

So I’m feeling elated that for once in my miserable life the gods have smiled upon me. Yay, one to me. A HUGE one for the plus column. For a change. And although I am happy to be a winner for once, I have enough smarts to know not to be hubristic about this, so I offer a little prayer of thanks to the pearl deity, the good fairy, the Powers That Be and Evidently Love Me.

Ha, ha! Big cosmic joke!

We get home with the shopping and start to unload the car. I reach into my bag for my keys … and nuthin’. I have never EVER lost my keys in my life. And not just the house-keys, every single key to everything; the filing cabinet, the suitcase, even the key to the shed is in that bundle. Most importantly, a door key given to me years ago by someone significant in my life a few months before he died in a bike crash: “The key to my heart.” That’s also among them and irreplaceable for obvious reasons. They aren’t in my bag, in my pockets, in the car. I later retrace my steps around the Vue, I phone up Homebase and Sainsbury’s for days and whimper. I search the car a dozen times. Nada!

So in one day, I lose a quid, gain my lost pearl, and then lose my keys including the key to a dead lover’s heart in a perfect dramatic escalation of metaphors. Wish I could read the auguries and work out what the universe is telling me with that one.

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

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