We’re going to Aldi tomorrow, me and The Mother.
She started making a list last Sunday! She’s never been before and the excitement is only bouncing through the freshly aired house (we open all the windows at 11am and a good time to close them is 3pm before the cold air gets in). She’s preparing like it’s a first date! She’s looked in the wardrobe twice for what to wear! Her sister wears those jeans with the bit of stretch in them, you know; the ones with the extra bit of comfort. Her other sister only goes to Marks!
‘An excursion,’ she’s calling it!
‘They have a lovely price on their tins of beans, not the baked kind, the other ones, those foreign ones. I know how you like your pulses,’ she says to me. I giggle- anything with a pulse for me is always of possible potential!
‘I hope they have a good date on them,’ she remarks. ‘Make sure there’s a good date on them’ is her staple supermarket comment.
She’s already arranged a pickup for afterwards and notified everyone in the family either by phone call or messenger the exact details of the where and when, in case we never come back. The plan is to go mid-afternoon, everything is planned mid-afternoon so it gives a good two to three hours beforehand to get ready and the whole evening then to recover and call everyone up to tell them about the day, whether there’s been a planned excursion or not, mainly not, but the phone calls still go out and come in; ‘Did you do the washing? I did! You did? I did! Do you see the rain? I did! You did? I did! She did!
‘Will I be able to bring me own shopping bags,’ she asks me?
‘Will they take me card,’ she wants to know, ‘you know, me credit card? I’ve never been to a place like this before,’ she tells me and she’s off, calling up the sisters and cousins just to double check!
‘Do you have your passport?” I ask her and she looks at me and thinks but eventually catches up!
Last night she was on the phone to her best friend Mary from County Tipperary. For 35 minutes The Mary took her through the proposed visit; ran her along the layout, each aisle, the best route, the bargains, the spots to rest, read her out the offers of the week, even though they were the bargains for next week! Less plotting and planning goes into a bank robbery. You’d think we were going to an alien planet. I could barely keep it together.
Then came the run down on the wine. Now, I’m not bigging myself up here or anything but it felt a little off-centre to hear someone in Thurles, County Tipperary call The Mother in Lusk, North Country Dublin, to suggest what wine The Son, me, would like. I say it felt a little off-centre because, of course, between the three of us; The Mother, The Mary and myself, there is only one of us who ran a Bar, in Paris, in France, you know; that country where they make some of The Wine. And I can give you two hints; it wasn’t The Mother or The Mary!
Oh god! Welcome home and roll on The Excursion. Aldi; we’re on the way and you have been warned!
All words by Damien B Donnelly but all thoughts and ideas from the holy Trinity, The Mother, The Mary and Myself.