FutureDiary : 11 January 2030 – Where did all the groceries go?

Another stormy night last night, and it was still raining heavily when we got up this morning.

I was hoping the roads weren’t getting flooded again as I needed to go to town to collect Valentina’s prescription.

Valentina had made me some porridge for breakfast with the last of our own grown oats. It tastes so much better knowing it had come from our land. Hopefully we can grow a bigger patch this year.

I was just scraping my bowl when there was a knock at the front door. It was the Tesco delivery driver. His van had come off the lane.

This happens every few months. The lane down to our yard is steep, narrow and when it rains a lot, very slippy.

It’s not a problem when you are used to it and take it steady, but this guy hadn’t delivered here before.

I put on my coat and boots to go and see what happened.

He had certainly made a good job. Usually when they come off the lane their vans are just a couple of feet into the ditch and we can pull them back on with a tractor.

But this guy had gone the whole nine yards. Quite literally. He was over the ditch, through the hedge, into the field, and was precariously balanced at a 45 degree angle propped up against a hefty gate post.

The impact against a fence post had ripped open the side door and the trays inside has jettisoned out spilling their contents into the long gross. Toilet rolls, cornflakes, curry paste, bananas and even a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

We were we his first delivery of the day so he was fully loaded.

He couldn’t get a signal on the lane so he asked if he could use the phone in the house.

I left him to call his boss in the office. I couldn’t help but hear a raised voice from the other end of the line.

He came into the living room looking pretty sheepish.

His boss would be here in about half an hour.

Valentina made him a cup of tea to calm him down. He was pretty cut up about it. He had only started on the job last week. It was only a six month contract but he really needed the work. His wife was expecting a baby in 6 weeks and she had been on a zero hour contract at the care home so didn’t qualify for any maternity pay.

I felt really bad for him but I couldn’t get his van back on the road.

When he’d finished his tea I offered to help him collect all the groceries in the field before his manager arrived.

Luckily it had stopped raining by then.

When we got there we were in for a bit of a surprise. Just about all the stuff had gone. Someone had taken it.

In a town that would be quite normal these days. But he’d come off our lane a quarter of a mile from the road so there was no passing traffic, and our nearest neighbours are half a mile away and they definitely wouldn’t steal it.

This freaked him out a bit.

His boss arrived just at that point.

I thought I’d best leave them to it and headed back to the house.

Valentina was as surprised as both of us when I told her about all the stuff from the van disappearing.

It put us slightly on edge actually. Someone by chance must have come up the lane. I guess the Johnnie Walker was too much of a temptation.

Just at that point I got from the Abergavenny Police. I’d been chasing them about the video.

Unfortunately they had not been able to pick up the number plate of the motorbike or anything to help identify the two attackers.

They said they would keep the case open for the time being but as Valentina wasn’t badly injured I am not sure they were that bothered to investigate fully.

Valentina said we should let it drop. But that isn’t my style. As soon as Valentina wasn’t about I sent an email to Amy asking if she knew anyone that might be able to take another look at the video. I asked her not to tell her mum. And I sent it encrypted. We’d done this before for some other ‘business’.

It was just about lunchtime now so we had left over bean stew and apple pie Valentina had made from some of last year’s apples.

We had a good harvest last year – I think it was almost 200kg in the end.

All the excitement had worn me out and I am still not in peak condition. I was feeling a bit drowsy by then.

I think it is my microbiome getting out of kilter at the moment. I am big believer in fermented foods to keep the gut bacteria in good shape to keep the body in good health.

Our last batch of kefir had gone bad so we have ordered some new kefir grains to start afresh. And we’ve just finished all the sauerkraut we made in the autumn.

That reminded me about the Tesco van. There was supposed to be some sauerkraut in our order.

It had started raining again but I had to go and see if they had cleared the van off the lane.

Just as I got there I saw a pickup truck driving away – but without the van.

The Tesco manager came over to me apologising profusely. They had tried to pull the van up with the pickup truck but it was just too heavy to clear the battery pack over the edge of lane without damaging it.

They had therefore had to call out a crane.

The Home Delivery Manager, as I discovered his full title was, said the Store Manager would be in touch to sort out appropriate compensation for the damage and the inconvenience.

I suggested rather tongue in cheek free groceries for a year. I don’t think he was in the mood for humour though. It would have been rather useful as just about all our local shops have closed now.

The crane wasn’t going to arrive for an hour or so as it was coming up from Cross Hands.

They didn’t want to come in for tea, preferring to stand guard on what was left of their delivery orders.

The sauerkraut had unfortunately smashed.

So I left them to it.

A nice cup of tea was all I needed when I got back in.

Valentina said she had enough of her tablets for another two or three days so the prescription could wait.

I got the PolliDrones box out to look at. The English in the instructions is a bit wobbly but they look pretty impressive. They have high def macro and standard cameras which should be pretty stunning to watch – a bee’s eye view. If you let them out they actually have a range of over 25 miles which is amazing. And they are satellite linked so we could send them off to Aberaeron to see what the parking is like before we set off for a visit.

I’ve just got to activate them through the website and then I can start to play.

Danny called a couple of hours later. He’d seen the crane going up our lane on his way home.

I told him the story. He laughed – “bloody amateur drivers” or words to that effect.

When I mentioned all the food being stolen his mood changed.

He’d heard rumours about some travellers in the area stealing from sheds and barns. He reckoned it could be them.

Luckily Valentina didn’t hear any of this.

I think I am going to apply for that shotgun licence.

That’s all for now. Sleep tight and keep your doors locked.

If you have missed the previous diary entries, you can catch up…

FutureDiary : 10 January 2030 – Storms, floods & electric dreams

FutureDiary : 09 January 2030 – Trees, Australians & Lentils

FutureDiary : 08 January 2030 – Guns, Trump and PolliDrones

FutureDiary : 07 January 2030 – Valentina robbed at knifepoint

FutureDiary : 06 January 2030 – A panic in Cardiff

[graphic by @pennsif]