Saturday, 26 January 2013


He was absolutely unbelievable, Kerry decided.  He must have been in his sixties easily.  Him and his wife.  And what a get up. Hiking boots, bright yellow socks, knee-length trousers, tweed jacket, woolly red bobble hat, one of those long walking sticks and a serious hiker’s rucksack. Just a small one.
His wife was no more elegant. She was short and rather stubby.  The bright red duffle coat, blue trousers and pink wellies did not help. And of course, she had a red bobble hat to match her husband’s. She’d probably knitted both of them.
Fancy going out walking in this weather. True, the snow had stopped but everywhere was either icy and slippery or wet and muddy, depending on where the sun had been shining. He’d obviously fallen over. He had mud all the way up his side. Both of them had really red cheeks. With those and the hats they looked just as if they’d come straight from Lapland and helping Santa.
And what was this they were now putting on the conveyor belt? Fresh pasta.  Cook-in sauce. A bottle of the finest single-malt whisky the store sold. The little wife grinned almost shyly at him and he winked.
It was all right for some. She would be stuck here for another three hours. Same old routine. Ring ‘em up. Bag ‘em up. Take the money or process the card. Yawn, yawn.
Her till was just opposite the in-store café. She was enjoying a slight lull between customers when something made her look over there. The red hats! She’d know them anywhere. The bottle of whisky was sticking up out of his rucksack. He was carrying a tray on which were a frothy, cream-topped hot chocolate, a banana milkshake, a doughnut and a slice of cheese cake and the little wife was pointing eagerly at a table near the window. Yep. Definitely all right for some.
He spotted her looking at him. He grinned. “Cheer up, lass. Everybody has to make their own gladness.”
He had a point, she supposed.
Her next customer arrived. “Are you all right there?” she said, offering her brightest smile.             


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