Continuing with my birdwatching amongst the Costa Shop Regulars.......*
*I overhear the conversations because the tables are so close. I'm not spying.... honestly:
These two characters were the original Regulars.
NAME: POISON GRANNIES SPECIES: Grannies
SIGHTING: Common, All year CALL: 2 Cappuccinos &
a glass of tap water chaser
PLUMAGE: Head to toe Edinburgh Woollen Mill/Marks & Spencers Classic Collection
Granny 1 prefers dark, denim jeans with ironed-in creases
Thick powder puff (I would guess Max Factor – like my nan used to use)
Visible varicose veins - Granny 2 who prefers floral pattern skirts
Because we're worth it
This pair border on the stereotype. Granny 1 is tall and thin, whilst Granny 2 is short and more rounded. A sort of Laurel and Hardy, but without the hats. The first thing that strikes me is the well-worn skin on their faces. My mother would describe them as having a 'hard face', but I think I prefer the term: 'lived in'. They both wear face powder a shade too dark, which sits in the crevices and only accentuates the problem. Think Keith Richards in lipstick and you start to get the picture. I have concluded that their facial erosion can only be put down to a) smoking, and/or b) frowning. I'm not sure about the first, although I can certainly picture them with a glass of gin in hand and a fag hanging from the corner of their mouth. However, I do have stronger evidence about the frowning. Because they frown a lot, these two; frown and bitch.
|A cappuccino &|
glass of tap water please
During the whole time I have been sitting here bird-watching, I cannot think of a single occasion when I heard anything pleasant or positive from their table. They simply don't seem to have a kind word to say about anyone which made me think, 'blimey, they're a poisonous couple of individuals' and the name just stuck.
They are the kind of people you could easily imagine sitting there at the end of the family table at Christmas, wearing a paper hat and a scowl that could stun a brussel sprout, just because the turkey has overrun and they are missing the Queen's speech on the telly. (As an aside, in my experience it is often the most miserable ones who wear the paper hats the longest at Christmas – a strange phenomena, but there it is).
Anyway, they are particularly venomous about one of their neighbours who apparently sits indoors all day, being waited on hand and foot by her son. I get the feeling the grannies wouldn't mind being waited on hand and foot by their offspring given half the chance, for it turns out that this isn't the neighbour's worse crime. Oh no, indeed not..... no, that would be her dreadful curtains: I shall take a large breath and let Granny 1 explain:
“I don't know what she was thinking and I bet she paid the earth for them, though you wouldn't think it to look at them and they don't go with anything because they're the wrong colour and they're much too heavy and will block out the light and I told her, I said, you'll have to have them dry-cleaned because they obviously can't be washed....”
|A good mangle |
And so on. For 15 minutes without hardly drawing breath. Solid. Life doesn't get much more exciting than this, I can tell you.
Young people? “Of course, the problem with young people today is that they just don't wash things like we used to after the war”.
This surprising fact can apparently be pinpointed and laid at the feet of the demise of the mangle.
|would you like to come up to my place|
and see my curtains?
George Clooney? What on earth could be wrong with Gorgeous George I hear you ask. Well, he cuts no ice in rural Suffolk. Over to Granny 2:
“Well, you know, they had one of his films on the telly last night. I couldn't tell you what is was called, but I watched it 'till about quarter-past ten and then I thought: that's it, I've had enough' and went to bed. Don't know what all the fuss is about.”.
Granny 1 concurs. Poor George would be crushed.
The staff do try and lighten the mood.
Barista: Morning! Isn't it a lovely sunny day? Much better than yesterday. Are you up to anything nice?
Granny 2: No, just visiting my friend. She got run over at the weekend.
I try not to sit at the table next to them if I can help it, because the toxic doom and gloom seeping out from behind the cappuccinos tends to wash over me like a bucket of cold mist.
|One does love a good laugh|
I have also secretly pledged never to invite them to Christmas dinner at my house for fear that my table linen won't be up to scratch - not to mention that my middle daughter is a huge fan of George Clooney and my turkey always, without fail, overruns. In fact, we haven't seen the Queen's speech in more than 7 years.
Actually, I am not too sure about my curtains either........
Next Sighting: The Professor