Was he worrying about his forthcoming interview with the Inland Revenue?
Had a new problem arisen with the sale of the house?
Was the van playing up?
Was he hungry?
Then he spoke and I knew it was none of these things that bothered him.
"Can you go on the internet and get me the sheet music for 'The Rocky Road To Dublin'?"
"Sure you were sitting here on this sofa two days ago with that on your lap."
"I know but it's disappeared."
"It must be around somewhere."
"I've looked everywhere. It's vanished into the ether."
Bert's belongings frequently disappear into the ether. If I lose anything it's because I am careless, daft or have 'too much crap.' However the ether, into which Bert's possessions regularly disappear, teems with his stuff including several woolly hats, many pens, scissors, penknives, the sheet music of the Rocky Road to Dublin, tin whistles and all of his 2002 business invoices.
Strangely he never loses any cash to the ether but then he is from Cullybackey.