It was time for our annual Christmas foray up to the big smoke.
After last year when Maggie had to borrow her father's jeep, the back seat of which was covered in dried chicken blood, we decided to go upmarket and took the train. At Hazelhatch, Patsy spotted the ticket inspector coming down the aisle and nearly had a nervo when she couldn't find her ticket. She upturned the contents of her handbag on the table which included 20 sachets of tomato ketchup, a spare pair of knickers and a packet of beef chews for the dog. Eventually, she found the ticket in her pocket and produced it triumphantly for the ticket inspector, who solemnly told her not to lose the run of herself in Dublin.
We separated to shop and then met in an Italian restaurant for lunch. It was only when Maggie removed her coat that we noticed her new jumper. Beautifully knitted by her mother-in-law, it was very much in keeping with the season in that it had a red background with a motif of a reindeer on the front. Perhaps it was a trick of the light or the way it was stretched tight over her ample bosom, but the reindeer looked as if it was sporting a penis. Josie and I couldn't take our eyes off it. "What are you staring at?" Maggie asked.
"Your reindeer looks rather well endowed," replied Josie.
"That's his hoof!" cried Maggie.
"First reindeer I've ever seen that has five hooves. It must be an Irish reindeer," sniggered Patsy.
The Italian waiter arrived to take our order. We asked him what he thought of Maggie's jumper. "Eess very nice," he muttered. You could tell by the look on his face that the last place he wanted to be was serving four, giddy, middle-aged women and a five-legged reindeer. We soon got to talking about the highlights of the year. It had to be Patsy's wedding to Jose closely followed by my newly reconstructed chest (which still manages to stand up on its own -- hooray!) and the unveiling of a new nipple.
Josie's 50th birthday when she got her heels stuck in chicken wire trying to scale a fence and Maggie's many attempts to get her other half to pay for plastic surgery also featured.
We clinked glasses and wished each other the happiest of Christmas's and hoped for more good times to come. Maybe it was the wine but I'm almost sure that reindeer winked at me . . .