Sat in the cafe this morning, watching the faithful called to worship in their provincial insular best. Glad-handing on the steps of the church. Begloved, besuited, booted and hatted. Almost uniformly middle-aged. Only a smattering of the very young. Scrub-faced and eager, toddling and laughing and tugging at grannies’ hands.
The odd one or two came for take-away lattes and black teas. Trailing that particular powdery smell of the prim and pious. Stout heeled sensible shoes adorning sturdy feet. Paisley scarves and woollen coats protecting against the snell High Street wind. Hairstyles set and nodding to the 1950s. And not succumbing to that wind.
The talk was of old Eddie: ‘My, he got a quick one, didn’t he?’ ‘Funeral’s on Tuesday’ ‘Should be a fine turn out for that’ ‘That’ll be a guid hoose for somebody’…
A couple of farmers followed behind them. Faint reek of the byre clinging to them. All dungareed and thick-knit cable-sweatered and mud-encrusted steel toe-capped boots. Bacon rolls were ordered and sheep dip discussed. The young one was ruddy cheeked and red-nosed and already tending towards the meaty muscularity of his father. Horizons defined by the sheep and the cattle and the timing of markets and the price of red diesel and government subsidy.
Then came the boy-racers in their borrowed mazda soft-top. T-shirted and jewellery be-decked they ordered paninis and irn-bru and boasted of the drink consumed the night before and exploits with the lassie who’d gone back to the flat.
Mad ginger came in and ordered his customary coffee and toastie and got lost in a rambling jungle of words and E lost patience trying to decipher the mess and cut him short to go into the backshop.
My own coffee cooled and reluctantly I made for home with the shopping.