A nice young couple; he gave the impression that if he had his way, they’d be a courting couple. She managed to subliminally give the impression that so far, he hadn’t.
It was a warm shirt sleeve afternoon in October. He was at the age where he’s still not sure that real men are allowed to smile. On the other hand she’d got to the age where she’d discovered the sheer power of a smile but wasn’t too sure of the fine control. I said ‘Afternoon’ as I passed them and she gave me a smile that was about two hundreds watts per channel. Any more we’d have got a feedback screech.
Then later, on the ward, an old man struggling; not with anything in particular, just struggling. Someone said they thought he’d played rugby, wing three-quarter, for one of the big teams down in Lancashire. That’s proper rugby, thirteen men a side.
Well all that was a few years ago. Now they’re trying to get his mobility back and he’s struggling with the zimmer frame. A physiotherapist old enough to be his daughter is cajoling him; “Come on Charlie, the rest of the ward are envious of you with a girl on each arm.” A nurse who could be a granddaughter is on the other side of him, encouraging him. “Come on; let’s walk to the desk where Julie wants to see you.” And Julie, the ward manager, harassed and swamped in paper looks up from behind the heap of files, stands up and holds out both arms to welcome him.
And somehow, from somewhere, the ghost of that wing three-quarter peers out through the fog of dementia. The head comes back, the bottom goes forward and for a little while at least we have mobility.
And then walking down the corridor, ahead of me is an old Lady (she’s left being merely ‘elderly’ some time back) being towed in a wheelchair by two slightly younger ladies who could be siblings, friends or even daughters. Anyway the best estimate is that between the three of them they’ve clocked up damned near two hundred and twenty years.
As I catch up with them, the old Lady sees me and makes eye contact with me. I touched the brim of my cap at her in greeting, she gave me a smile. A smile so full of fun and mischief that seventy years ago she’d have broken hearts. Even thirty years ago it would be a smile to give a respectably married man palpitations. One of the ladies pulling glanced down at the passenger and said “I hope you’re behaving yourself when we cannot keep an eye on you.”
By now I was almost level so I commented, “Well she keeps making eyes at me.”
The lady just looked down at her passenger. “Well if you’ve pulled make sure he’s got a friend for me.”
In this volume we stand shoulder to shoulder with Maljie as she explores the intricacies of philosophy, marvel at her mastery of pre-paid indemnification plans, and assist her in the design of foundation garments. When you read this, not only will you discover just who wears the trousers, but you can indulge in a spot of fishing and enjoy the quaint fertility rites of our great city. This book contains fashion, honey, orphans and the importance of dipping your money in vinegar to ensure it is safe. Indeed you may even learn how to teach a cat to dance.
As a reviewer commented, “I must confess that I love Port Naain and it’s characters, especially Maljie, Laxey and the Mendicants.
Their latest (mis)adventures have not disappointed me.
Each and every short story is a gem of plot, description and full of entertainment value.”