A Trip to Kilkenny

8:00am Stand in hall with shoes on feet ready to leave.

8:01am Shout up stairs "I thought you wanted to go out at eight!" Receive confident reply that Mammy's arrival is imminent. Want cup of tea.

8:05am Sit on sofa to wait. Really want cup of tea.

8:47am Mammy arrives. Is not impressed by my saying "I could have had a cup of tea in the time I spent waiting for you!"

8:59am Get in car. Passenger complains about leak and fermented camel smell caused by leak.

9:00am Attempt to start car. Fail.

9:01am Pump accelerator. Car starts. Reverse carefully. Distracted by passenger shouting "I've forgotten my lipstick!"

9:03am Return to car with lipstick.

9:04am Reach end of drive. Distracted by passenger shouting "I've forgotten my disabled sticker!"

9:12am Reach main road.

9:15am Told off by passenger for driving too fast.

9:28am Passenger grows disgruntled by driver's inability to hold in-depth conversation about interior design while avoiding wide lorry on narrow bridge over deep and tidal river.

9:29am Told off by passenger for driving too fast. Again.

9:30am Overtaken by man in Lycra.

9:45am Reach Thomastown. Driver is confused by road layout. Helpful explanatory sign is facing in wrong direction having been hit by a previous motorist.

9:46am Driver distracted by passenger shouting "Oooooooh! Look at those lovely chairs in that window! Did you see them? And that gorgeous lamp!"

9:58am See car with Longford plates. Almost drive into telegraph pole in shock. Believed Longford to be urban myth.

10:03am Reach Kilkenny. Get to car park alive. Passenger refuses to allow Driver to park anywhere but very close to the entrance to shops.

10:04am Driver orders Passenger out of car and tells her she will catch her up.

10:06am Driver finds herself outside car park. Unsure how.

10:09am Driver caught up in terrifying Kilkenny one way system. Has flashbacks to driving in Winchester. Hates all medieval cities.

10:12am Driver drives down Kilkenny high street. Small children fling themselves beneath her car wheels.

10:15am Driver finds self on Kilkenny ring road. Unsure how.

10:21am Driver parks car. Goes to shop. Finds Mammy admiring lamp.

10:23am Mammy suggests they go for a nice cup of coffee. Driver resists.

10:24am Drink nice cup of coffee.

10:57am In Next. Mammy wants to buy lamp. Driver suggests Mammy think about it.

11:06am Mammy suggests they go for a nice cup of coffee. Driver resists and distracts Mammy by pointing and saying "Oooohh! Look! What a nice lamp!"

11:56am Mammy points at hideous nylon garment. Suggests it would look nice on Driver. Is insulted when Driver suggests she would rather eat her own eyeballs than wear it.

12:04pm Mammy purchases three identical pairs of black linen trousers.

12:22pm Mammy requests to be taken to extortionate tourist design centre for lunch.

12:35pm Eat overpriced luncheon.

12:55pm See Americans. Mammy and Driver snigger at their baseball hats and elastic wasted trousers.

1:29pm Look at horrible pottery. Mammy tries on every Alan Ardiff necklace in cabinet. Decides to buy none of them.

1:31pm Mammy attempts to get Driver to try on every Alan Ardiff necklace in cabinet. Driver does not want another Alan Ardiff necklace. Already has several.

1:22pm Mammy admires lamp.

2:06pm Mammy suggests they go for nice cup of coffee. Driver resists but is lured by temptation of cake.

2:33pm See Nuns.

3:01pm Attempt to get car and passenger safely out of Kilkenny.

3:29pm Mammy requests to be taken to horrible pottery shop. Suggests they can have a nice cup of coffee. Driver refuses.

3:30pm Arrive at horrible pottery shop.

3:38pm In café. Driver orders tea.

3:38pm and 30 seconds. Driver regrets tea ordering decision. Suggests tea tastes like car smells.

3:55pm Mammy admires lamp. Wishes to buy it. Driver attempts to stop her by asking where she is going to put it.

3:56pm Mammy buys lamp.

4:15pm Overtaken by large number of motorcycles. Leather, facial hair and German plates much in evidence. Scared.

4:44pm Get home. Want cup of tea but first must admire Mammy's purchases in light of own home rather than inferior shop light.

4:49pm Hang linen trousers next to 18 other pairs of identical linen trousers from same shop.

4:55pm Have cup of tea. Told off by Mammy for refusing to try new lamp out in every reachable socket.

4:56pm Comfort Mammy. Apologise for being narky. Admire lamp.

4:57pm Mammy's happiness restored. Wonder if too early for drink.

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