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Patsy calls time out on cardigan fella

IT LASTED longer than a wet week but Patsy's relationship is now over.

She announced it without an ounce of tact. “I've dumped your brotherin-law.”

Maggie's jaw dropped so far I could see her tonsils.

Like an ageing diva Patsy mopped her brow and rolled her eyes before adding with a sigh, “It wasn't him — it was me.” She then went on to list all the reasons why it was him.

“For a start, he wore a cardigan — a brown one with buttons the size of chestnuts.”

“You broke it off because he wore a . . . a cardigan!” spluttered Maggie, aghast.

This is the same Maggie who personally selects all her other-half 's clothes, lest he wear something that would reflect badly on her — so no tracksuit bottoms, string vests, football jerseys, white socks and definitely no brown cardigans with big buttons.

“It wasn't just the cardigan, there was also the budgie smugglers,” said Patsy. “The only man who should wear budgie smugglers is Daniel Craig. They just don't look the same on middleaged Irishmen with short legs and skin the colour of wallpaper paste.”

Josie raised a quizzical eyebrow at me. “I think she means Speedo swimming togs,” I whispered.

“You mean he wore a cardigan and budgie smugglers at the same time!” shrieked Maggie, doubly aghast at this fashion faux pas. (He didn't by the way, but he might as well have for all the bad press he was getting.)

“And then there was the hill-walking. I mean, Christ Almighty, there is only so much fresh air a girl can take. Every weekend, rain or — but mainly rain — tramping up and down those bloody hills, carrying so much gear I felt like a Sherpa. You've no idea what hardship is until you've eaten damp egg sandwiches and drunk tea so strong you could trot a mouse on it, while surrounded by a herd of horny rams who looked like they hadn't had a shag in a year. I tell you, with my woolly hat on, I looked very attractive to them.”

“At your age you shouldn't give up so easily. It's not like there's a queue of men ready to take you out,” I reprimanded her. “There was something else,” she whispered, ignoring my remark. We all leaned inwards to get the goss.

“He likes strange movies,” she mouthed. “You mean like porno!” gasped Josie. Maggie visibly paled. “No, not porno! Dead boring black-and-white stuff by an old Italian guy called Houdini, or something like that.”

“I think you mean Fellini — one of the greatest film directors ever,” I said. “He can't be that great if he has to use subtitles to explain everything,” Patsy replied with a sneer.

Maggie's brother-inlaw has had one lucky escape . . .