‘Well I said to our Sheila, it’s no good asking her Roger to do something, she’s got to be forceful. Tell him what you want.’
‘Oo Doreen, you are bold and at your age.’
‘I said, if you don’t like it one way cos it’s uncomfortable, then try a different position. Women are equal partners these days.’
Doreen’s needles click clacked along with her lower denture as she nattered away.
‘What’s that you’re knitting? Cherie, peered over her shoulder.
‘’Nother balaclava for our brave boys out in Afghanistan.’
‘Give it ‘ere,’ said Marjorie, switching it back and forth as she held it up to the light. ‘Isn’t it supposed to have a slit, you know for the eyes? How’s the poor boy going to see?’
‘Minor detail, Marje. I’ll sort it out when I’ve finished. So I said Sheila, when things get samey, they get boring. Get one of those books off the internet to stir up your imagination.’
‘Tea, ladies? Finish the row first.’
Needles were carefully laid down on the table as eyes swivelled down the line to see what others had been doing.
‘Lovely pink that, Beatty. Another scarf it is?’
Colour flooded into Beatty’s papery cheeks and she giggled.
‘Who for this time?’
‘Well,’ she looked around at the many pairs of eyes that had fixed on her, ‘there was an advert in the gazette asking for ladies to knit something for poor children in Africa, so I thought scarves would be perfect.’
‘In Africa? But it’s hot.’
‘Well not all the time. Not during the winter I shouldn’t think. Oh, I’ve done the wrong thing haven’t I?’
‘It’s all fine,’ said Mrs. Graham-Hill, the organiser of the group. There’s always someone in need for a lovely pink scarf. Biscuit anyone?’
Doreen rolled her eyes and reached out her chubby hand for a couple of chocolate digestives. ‘What are you knitting Mrs. GH?’
‘Me? Oh, I’ve just finished a beautiful coat for my granddaughter. Would you like to see?’
Mouths stopped chomping on biscuits as they all gazed at a grey tweed coat with glass buttons.
‘How old is Freya now?’
Mrs Graham-Hill looked to the sky for inspiration and seemed to be counting.
‘She’ll be nineteen months tomorrow.’
‘Er, isn’t it rather big?’
‘She’ll grow into it very soon. Time flies Doreen. Now, about the competition next week. We will be knitting squares to make into blankets.’
‘Who for exactly?’
‘Didn’t I say? It’s all on the sheet there. The Poodle club. I thought pastels would be best for the puppies. We don’t want to stress them with fluorescents do we Mrs. Gardner?’‘
Eyes landed on Mrs. Gardner’s growing pile of multi-coloured socks, none of which matched. Doreen smirked as she picked up her needles and got back to work.
‘Your Sheila. Does she mind her mother interfering in her, you know, private life?’
‘I’d hardly call moving the living room furniture round private.’