Saturday, January 30, 2010


Every Saturday my beloved and I have a routine. We walk to the local shops, sit in a rather nice cafe (we call this our date) and buy odds and ends from the Health-food shop, Pete the greengrocer and Sainsburys.

My beloved puts on layers for a cold walk. This includes a plum coloured chunky knit sleevless top over a long-sleeved T-shirt. She isn't sure about the look.

"It's a bit A-line."

The daughters are quite frank.

"You look like a head-girl in a knitted stab-vest."

How they know that is beyond me. I always thought theirs was a good school.

The weather has been cold and miserable of late and my beloved, striding ahead and wearing that huge hood that reminds me of Kenny in South Park, is wont to chat on the journey. Often the wind is blowing from behind so I generally do not hear her.

"You need a hearing test." she pronounces.

"No. You need a muttering test." I respond.

The conversation is relayed by phone to the Mother-In-Law.

"He says I mutter.......No, of couse I matter. He said mutter. M.U.T.T.E.R.... What do you mean you don't get it? No. I didn't say matter. I don't need my mother to worry about my sense of self-esteem at my age."

Sainsburys is a nightmare because of the self-scanning checkout. We are two mature adults not yet in our dotage, both of whom use I.T. daily in our jobs. The machine required staff intervention FIVE times. On one occasion it was because we had scanned paracetamol. I was sort of waiting for the in-house chaplain to descend on us to ask which of us was suicidal.

"Unauthorised bag in the bagging area."

How dare you? That's my wife.

In the cafe I try to be alluring in a manly sort of way. I wink at her and sort of blow a kiss.

"Are you having a stroke?

Nice to know I've still got it.