It’s a Saturday in September, and the cricket season is over. Saturdays feel a little empty without cricket at this stage, and I didn’t fancy taking part in International Burn a Koran Day, so I headed down to Arboretum Road to help put the cricket square to bed for the winter. A football match was in full swing, however, and so the remedial work was postponed for an hour. I took the opportunity for a coffee down at Ocean Terminal. Stopping off at the news stand on the ground floor, I interrupted the proprietor, a middle-aged lady, having a chinwag with the cleaner.
“That’s me going to be a grandma again”, she says. “For the fourth time.”
“I’ve got five”, says he. “You’d better get a move on.”
Distinctly put out that she was lagging behind in the grandchildren count, she paused for a moment before declaring
“Had my first at 36.”
I too paused for a moment, to consider this. I am now 36, and haven’t managed to have a child yet, never mind a grandchild. I paid for my newspaper and moved on.
It’s remarkable what you overhear in conversations, without deliberately eavesdropping. Only a week ago, a bunch of us were in Princes Street Gardens, watching the Festival Fireworks close-up. Just to the left of our picnic blanket was a group of middle-aged people with, if it’s possible, an even more middle-class picnic selection than we had. I was quite impressed with our effort, comprising as it did olives, white wine, paté and a cheese board, but they were in a different league. Behind us, slightly further up the slope, were a couple of girls, getting gradually more and more hammered, and discussing recent visits to the hospital.
“Looks like it did during the Lang Siege in 1578,” declared a gentleman’s voice to our left, as some fireworks landed on the Castle Rock and continued to burn for a while.
“So, I wis thinkin’, right, is ma gall bladder f**ked?” came a voice from behind.
All part of the rich tapestry of life…