“I don’t know what’s going on. The bus hasn’t come and there are no kids waiting at the bus-stop.”
I gathered her up and drove her to Nixt! I’d been up early anyway putting the final touches to the den before Matthew arrived at nine. I reckoned I could get back home to finish it off but ‘twas not to be. Just as I headed out of Ballymena I found myself right behind Matthew who was driving really slowly. Apparently his old van is decrepit and cannot go any faster than 40mph. There were so many cars heading into town that I couldn't get past him so had to follow him all the way to our yard. As we got nearer the house he started to think he was being followed by one of the many ladies who, he claims, stalk him.
By now it was half eight and Bert still wasn’t up. I ate the head of him and as usual he ignored me. I demanded,
“Have you no shame?”
He opened one bleary eye and snuggled further under the duvet.
Meanwhile Matthew and I got on with the floor preparations and eventually Bert got up at around quarter past nine. Then Clint arrived with a power washer and in yard-cleaning mode. He instructed Bert to don waterproof clothing, wellies and to get his arse into gear. Bert did. How does Clint do it? I wish I knew.
With all the men working away it was time for me to collect Matty and go pruck-hunting.
We went to Marie Curie, Help The Aged and Mid-Ulster Animal Shelter Shop in Antrim. We picked up her meds in Boots.
We left documents with her accountant in Ballymena and visited the Salvation Army shop. She was tired then so I took her home.
I returned to Ballymena to bank and visited the Red Cross, Barnardo’s, Oxfam, The Dog’s Trust shop and The Heart Foundation.
I bought in various shops and for approximately 20 quid
- A skirt
- A patchwork quilt
- A duvet cover
- A needlepoint bag
- 6 books
- 4 old framed prints
- 1 watercolour
- A china cat (blue & white)
Then it was back home to find Matthew putting the completing touches to the floor and Clint and Bert finishing off the yard with the power washer. I had a bit of a chat with Matthew about his troubled love life. He’s just a guy who can’t say no except when it comes to commitment. He generally has more than one lady on the go and things can get very complicated. I gave him some sound advice and then moved the conversation on to shelving.
At quarter to six I phoned Hannah to find out if she wanted picked up. She declined saying she was getting the train. Five minutes later the phone goes and Hannah’s in frustrated tears of rage,
“Mum! You’re never going to believe this! The trains are on strike!”