Matty usually goes to Antrim with her favourite sister-in-law on Saturday mornings so I phoned first.
You not out with Maud this morning?
No. I told her I just didn't trust my legs today.
Bert and I discussed this over our porridge.
Says she just doesn't trust her legs to go out shopping with Maud.
Maybe she's afraid they'll go shoplifting or slope off to score some weed. Or maybe they'll slip into a betting shop and blow the pension on the Grand National.
Happily she felt that her legs were trustworthy enough to go on a jaunt with Hannah and Nelly.
The Abbey is, like all respositories of rosary beads, mass cards and religious paraphernalia, a weird and wonderful place. You go in. The first thing that you see is a miniature priest's mass clothes. You wonder why? Who'd want that? There are shelves and shelves of religious pictures and statues, there are rosary beads galore, there are stands and stands of pre-signed mass cards. There is a monk sitting in the corner to bless the holy stuff you buy for it's no use if it's not blessed. There is Status Quo playing 'Whatever You Want' on the sound system. Whether this was the monk's choice or the delightful young shop assistant's choice I do not know. Probably the monk as he was 50+.
I quickly choose my mass card; a bargain at two quid. Meanwhile Matty gets heavily involved in a conversation with the shop assistant on the possibilities of buying a book o the life of Saint Anne but, said saint being slightly obscure, none was to be found. Matty reports that Anne is the patron saint of grandmothers. With Jesus as her grandchild, she would be, wouldn't she?
Experienced Matty's untrustworthy leg in one of Portglenone's charity shops. She does this genuflection thing with it. She says the strength just leaves her leg for a moment. I tried distraction as a cure and pointed her in the direction of a shelf of brand new shoes. No shoes were purchased -just another beige skirt.
The day ended well. After dropping Matty off in Tannaghmore and Hannah in Ballymena, Rosie and I went for a brisk walk in the Ecos Centre. It was there that I bumped into an old chum who shamelessly told me that he'd always had the hots for me. What's not to like about hearing that?
Of course I told Bert the minute I got home. He laughed.
Aren't you raging? Aren't you going to go in and start a fight with him?
No. I'll just congratulate him on his good taste next time I see him.
What's not to like about hearing that?