On the invitation, she stipulated no presents, but that was never going to happen. Amongst her goodies was a little book, I can't remember the name of it, but it was full of fashion and beauty tips for women once they were beyond forty (and its name was along those lines). It was a beautifully designed book, except I think they got the title wrong. I'm thinking a more appropriate title would have been,
It's All Downhill From Here, Honey.
Hints and tips on how to make you not look like you've been bashed by the ugly stick as you edge closer to the grave.
Yesterday I packed my hangover into my case and caught the train home. The train was jammed full and as I got to my seat I motioned half-apologetically to the (sixtyish,maybe seventyish) woman who was sitting in the aisle seat. She had the air of a governess from 1930 and looked at me like I was covered in cat shit.
'So you've got the window, then?'
Now, if we'd been on a plane on a trip that I had done before, I wouldn't have hesitated in giving up the window. But I knew the window seats come with more real estate than aisle seats, and I wasn't prepared to give that up. Besides, it wasn't as if I was going to block her view.
'Erm, yes, sorry.'
I got into my seat and set about working my way through the Sunday paper, Metro magazine and a book.
By three quarters of the way through the trip, and without saying a word to her, I knew this woman was: a New Zealander, wheat free, that she inherited a 'legacy' and went to Paris for ten days, she was doing another train trip today, she often does tours around New Zealand and she didn't care for the Australians and Canadians in the seats one over because they didn't stop talking.
She turned to me and said in a loud, condescending voice 'You must know this scenery well, because you have been buried in your books all trip.'
I didn't say, 'What's it to you, you miserable, opinionated old goat?' because I'm not rude, so instead I said, 'Yes I have done this trip a number of times, and I have done this same trip by road many, many, many times.'
She sniffed and looked at me, 'Are you a student?'
I was tempted to say, 'No, but I have the hangover of one.' But I didn't because, being the fickle person I really am, suddenly I wanted to like her.
Now I would stay and gloat about how delightful it is when old people mistake you for being way younger than you really are, but I'm off on an archaeological dig. You never know what we may dig up, personally I'm holding out for Lord Lucan.