Did Granny say that her Beloved loves banks? It seems he does, at least. If he was anybody else she'd think he was conducting a secret liaison with the bank manager. but her Beloved isn't like that and even if he was the bank manager concerned doesn't look a likely partner; he looks like - a bank manager - if you know what she means. And anyway, between 8.30-8.45 or 9 in the morning seems an uncomfortable hour for amorous activity of the office kind - Beloved always arrives at the bank early. He does NOT like queues unlike Granny, who carries a book in her bag and is happy to make use of it. Books, along with credit cards, are never carried by Beloved.
Other people these days find such nice little cards useful; they can pay bills or to draw cash from ATM's without having to go to the bank. 'The banks charge you for having cards'; says Beloved. 'They charge you for drawing money out. And I can never remember my pin number. And anyway how else am I to find out what's in my account?'
'By putting in your pin number' says Granny 'and requesting your balance.' 'But they charge you for the card,' he repeats. 'And I can't remember my pin number.'
Granny suggests he uses his date of birth. Even Beloved can't forget that. He did put it on the one card he still had, for his English bank. Or rather she put it on for him. But he rarely or never uses it. 'How about internet banking,' she suggests. 'They offered it to me,' he said. 'But it didn't seem worth it. I'd still have to go to the bank to draw out money.'...
'By card?' suggests Granny ever more hopelessly. And before he can say again that they charge for the card says; 'it can't cost more than the petrol for driving half an hour to get the money and half an hour back. Once a week.' Beloved looks unconvinced. (As unconvinced as when she rubbishes his recipe for saving time on buying petrol: handing out the right note and asking for 20 euros worth rather than having it filled right up - meaning that the attendent has to rummage in his bag for change, a job which takes him all of 20 seconds. 'You don't understand,' protests Beloved. 'It's a formula. It works.'
Granny can't see how. But she cannot budge him here either. Beloved visits petrol stations more often than necessary too.)
One effect of Beloved's dislike of cards could be seen, recently, when Mr Handsome put a bolt of wood through the front windscreen of the truck. Granny arrived back from England at the weekend to find the windscreen had already remained like this for 2 days.
'It's illegal to drive a truck in this condition,' she suggests. 'Why didn't you get it fixed at once.'
'I couldn't. The insurance woman was away. I had to ask her first.'
'But Beloved, insurance anywhere allows a windscreen to be fixed, without further enquiry.'
'I can't be sure of that. And anyway I couldn't have paid for it. I'd have had to go to the bank, and the bank was shut..'
Cards? Internet Banking? Telephone Banking? All the convenient devices that means Granny need only plug in a card, connect up, make a telephone call, to sort out her monetary life seems to have passed her Beloved by. She never goes near her bank. He continues to visit his.
Just in case you are wondering why, in the light of her exasperation, his 'formulas', he's still her Beloved, she'll show you something. Last year for Christmas he gave her this; a drawing he'd made before she went into hospital in September for the removal of the relevant bit. 'You don't mind?' he said anxiously. 'Mind? Of course not. I'm...' she couldn't find the words then. She can't find them now. It doesn't matter anyway. Even if he does insist on going to the bank in order to pay for the still putative donkey, nothing more need be said.