shopping centre is not my idea of fun. The Senior Cat wanted to see "Skyfall" and so did a friend of his. I would not have minded seeing it myself but the friend's wife did not want to see it. She only likes "gentle films". I would, she decided, accompany her on a tour of the shopping centre while the "two boys" went to the film in the upper reaches of the same centre.
In order to keep the peace I dutifully agreed to take some time off. It would, I thought, at least be cooler there and the forecast temperature was for 40'C.
They picked us up and we were incredibly fortunate to find a parking space close to the entrance and under cover. A lunch of quiche and salad at their favourite eatery in the centre and "the boys" went off to the film. We toured the shops.
She likes to look at shoes and clothes.
I detest trying to buy shoes, not least because there are severe restrictions on what I can wear. I also think that shoes for females are often ridiculous and outrageously priced. We looked at strappy little things with barely nothing over the top and impossibly high heels.
"I would have worn those once," she tells me. Yes, I have no doubt she probably would - and got away with it. She has style. There were flatter sparkly sandals and I suspect she might have bought those but I am afraid I asked,
"When would you wear them?"
"Yes, you're right."
We looked at clothes.
"There are such lovely bright colours around this year," she tells me. Yes, if you like orange and lime and tomato red in filmy fabrics which look as if they have never been ironed. I am sure they must suit someone. They do not suit me.
Labels are read. Styles are scrutinised. Construction is considered. I listen but do not listen.
We prowl on. She looks at nail varnish in an unlikely array of colours. I have never worn nail varnish. That horrifies her.
Eventually she suggests we sit down for a while. There is another hour and a half before we need to collect the film goers. So we sit for half an hour. Coffee is consumed and we watch the passing parade. She observes clothes. I observe the people who are wearing them.
The coffee area is opposite a shop selling a wide variety of kitchenware. I ask if she would mind wandering in there for a moment so I can pick up some new kitchen tongs. She agrees but tells me, "I've never been anywhere like that."
There are all sorts of "gadgets" in there. I would never want any of them. I packed a lot of similar things up when my mother died. She inherited some from her mother and then collected more. I do not use many "gadgets", just the most ordinary things like a tin opener.
She wanders around but I can see she is not really interested so I find the tongs (on "special") and buy them. We leave and continue on. More shoes. More clothes. She also looks at large water machine-gun like water pistols for her grandsons for Christmas stocking fillers. Knowing what their mother would think I hold my breath. I say nothing. She does not buy them.
There is a bookshop next door. No, she is not interested in reading. I could have spent the rest of the time in there. We do not even enter the shop.
She looks at sheets. They would give the Senior Cat nightmares. I don't see the point of fancy sheets. You don't notice them when you are asleep and, like the Senior Cat, I prefer the comfort of cotton rather than the floral of polyester-cotton but she believes that the sheets should match the rest of the decor.
Eventually we return to the foyer of the theatre area. There are chairs. We sit down to wait.
"Oh that was lovely! But, we have only done about a quarter of the shops. We must do it again."
I say nothing.