Shopped at the bar on gift-buying binge

The best part of Kildare last week was the road out of it.

Snow on the bogs is picturesque and all that but, after a couple of weeks of it, the four of us were chewing the hair on the backs of our hands. Anyway, Maggie decided that, do or die, we were going to Dublin to do our Christmas shopping.

The day started badly when she found her car wouldn't start, so we ended up taking her father's four-wheel drive. He uses it on the farm so the interior smells of sheep farts. Also, the seats are covered in dog hair and the dried blood of a chicken that he ran over by mistake in 1993, so Maggie had to line them with black plastic bags just so we could sit on them.

Patsy moaned the whole drive in about the smell and why was she nominated to keep wiping the moisture from the inside of the windscreen with the sleeve of her coat. Well, she would insist on sitting in the front.

As Maggie was unused to driving a large jeep, she felt she could only park in the car park if the space either side was empty so we had to drive around for about 20 minutes until we found one on the roof.

Wrecked before we were even started, we eventually got to Grafton Street just before lunch and immediately perked up because, as usual, it didn't disappoint.

Thronged with shoppers, buskers and string quartets, it reeked of Christmas and all it was short of was the Coca Cola truck steaming down the middle. Maggie and Patsy took off like greyhounds in the direction of BTs, while Josie and I repaired to Davy Byrnes for some nibbles in order to fortify ourselves for what was left of the day.

And that, unfortunately, was our downfall. In one of the cancer diet books I read, it suggests one glass of red wine a day can be beneficial, so we ordered a couple. Before we knew it we were on our third, which meant I was getting three times the benefit and the barman was starting to look very attractive.

It was half four by the time the other two arrived, laden with shopping, to find us extolling the virtues of Guinness to a French couple who were losing the will to live.

After another glass of vino they managed to bundle us out the door. On the way home Josie and I sang Jingle Bells until Maggie and Patsy lost their Christmas spirit and roared at us to "SHUT THE F**K UP".

I've still no shopping done but I've plenty of thoughts about it and, after all, it's the thoughts that count!