First trip was to her new GP in Kells & Connor. I chatted her into changing because of the interminable long waits at her previous surgery. An hour and a half’s wait to see the doc was not uncommon at her old place, the car park was tiny and the wait for an appointment far too long.
Before we left for Kells Matty said,
Are you planning on going into Antrim?
No. Are you planning on going into Antrim?
Well it’s just that I’ve got these bags of coins….
Oh bloody hell! Not more bags of coins. Why don’t you just spend the money instead of bagging it up and trailing it into the bank? Sure the bank people hate seeing wee grannies coming with their bloody bags of coins.
Well if you don’t want to go to Antrim I could always get a taxi* and…
Oh I’ll take you to Antrim if you must but I’d far rather take you to Carnlough
So after the docs we went to Antrim. I dropped her off and went to visit Daddy’s grave where I deadheaded Ganching’s pansies and got all emotional.
Then I gathered up Matty again and suggested a coffee. But where? She says brightly,
OK. Randalstown it is.
On the way to Randalstown we had this conversation,
It’s our Claire’s birthday today. It’s her 70th.I cringe at this. I’m a Bad Daughter. We get to Randalstown and I swing straight back to the home parish to collect Claire’s card and present. Then back to Randalstown, then up to Claire’s house. She’s out. Probably being treated to a birthday lunch so I leave card and present on her windowsill and we go to The Forge for coffee.
Is it? It’s a wonder you didn’t want to go down and see her.
Well I had a card and present for her on the kitchen table but you were that crabbit I was scared to ask you.
After coffee we go to a little knick-knack cum antique shop that is only recently opened. Matty buys some pretty padded dress hangers. Back in the car I say to Matty,
Nice place that. You know you’d call that sort of style shabby chic.
Shabby shit? D’ye think so?
Hanging out with the hard of hearing does have its amusing moments.
Then we went to visit Matty’s neighbour who is really ill. They are a lovely family and we’ve always been close to them. Now they are going through a similar experience to what we were going through 12 months ago.
Afterwards the oldest daughter asked us up to her house to peer into the nest of Wagtails on her front doorstep. Last year during Daddy’s wake I remember watching a group of young Wagtails cavorting in the stream at the bottom of this house’s garden. There are so many memories coming back to me and I could cry for any reason. Even this lovely warm weather is making me feel sad.
I could always get a taxi* The taxi company that Matty frequently threatens to use is called Guilt Trip Cabs. This taxi is always mentioned when anyone (it’s usually me) shows any reluctance to drive her wherever she wants to go.