Monday 11 December 2017

Coffee Morning Whispers: Aunty nails her colours to the mast as I tackle the job head on

Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh

There is something about Aunty. There is something about the way her nose twitches as if I had just walked in dog poo and dragged it through her house.

There is something about her ears that, despite being 'profoundly deaf' (her words) can hear an ice clinking whisky glass at fifty yards.

There is something in the way she might look at me, her beady eyes following me around the room without moving her head.

There is something … oh, you get the picture by now.

I got the call when I was in the coffee shop with the gals having a much needed laugh.

It was all over too soon.

"I need you to come over and cut my toenails," she said.

I was eating a flapjack at the time and I can say, with some confidence, that it will be a while before I eat one again.

"Judging by the length of Sadie's toenails, you'll probably need a garden shears instead of a clippers," Patsy cheerily remarked.


I went over on the Friday after St. Patrick's Day. An Irish flag remained draped over the bannisters and she was still wearing a pair of green poppers on her head.

Remnants of betting slips, from watching Cheltenham on the telly, littered the sofa.

Her best friend, Madge, sat in the corner like some sort of malign leprechaun.

I could have sworn her ears had become a little more pointed since I last saw her.

I gave her a nod of greeting, afraid if I made any more contact I'd end up cutting her toenails as well.

The air was heavy with bad karma because the pair of them had lost their shirts over the racing week and were still grumbling about Ruby Walsh (pictured) falling off his horse.

The fact he survived mattered not a whit to the pair of them.

I retrieved the clippers from the bathroom and before going about the business, psyched myself up by taking a couple of deep breaths and punching the side of my head.


Aunty has feet like paddles so I threw one leg over hers and grabbed her foot in the same way a farrier might shoe a horse.

There was still varnish on the nails where Madge had painted them for her (And no, I don't know why either!).

It was extra thick in parts and I may need to hire a jack hammer to get those bits off.

On top of that, Sadie's nails are so hard it's like trying to use a blunt can opener on a tin of beans.

Madge inspected them when I finished.

"You missed a bit," she said.

I mustn't have punched myself hard enough…

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