Off to Belfast today to visit my old friend S, still in hospital. I had a look at that Tiger shop in the city centre which had been intriguingly described as a pound shop for middle-class people. I wasn't that impressed with it. The nicest thing in there I already owned, a Christmas present from Leitrim Sister. All I bought was a picture frame (they are better in Ikea) and a pair of reading specs, four times more expensive than the scally pound shops.
The train journey was not as relaxing as it usually is. On the way to Belfast some dreary bitch was blaring into her phone to someone, probably her mother as she finished the conversation by saying 'love you' in a taking someone for granted kind of tone. What's wrong with me? I don't find eavesdropping quite as entertaining as I used to. Is it because people expect to be overheard these days?
Then on the way home there was a crashing bore telling his companion about the interior decoration, layout and drinks prices of every club he'd ever been to. Not a word about drunken adventures or wenching. Every now and again his friend got a word in edgeways and the boring one was sort of half listening and dying to be doing the talking again. They got out at Antrim and the talkative one was as plain a young man as I'd seen in a long time. I felt a flash of sympathy for him for few girls would look the road he was on. No wonder he was able to take in all the details of the decor.
Thankfully my dear old friend did not bore me. She has Alzheimer's as well as other troubles and can be repetitive but even so she is still as engaging and pleasant as ever she was. She thought she saw Shane's Castle from the window and I reminded her that it is in ruins. And funnily enough she was able to recollect the names of some of those long dead boys allegedly responsible for burning it down. Of course this was long before her time and mine.
I ate lunch at Cafe Airang where no one annoyed me as they were all speaking Korean. Happy days.