In Coffee Link, Solar, New Year's Eve, Pat wished Gracie a Happy New Year. She was so over emphatic and insistent you could tell she didn't believe there was a prayer of this coming true.
She went on, 'And you had a good Christmas?' More telling than asking. 'You went up Steven's...'
At this point the barista arrived with their order, putting the tray down so clumsily tea spouted out of the pot.
'I've chucked your Earl Grey over there now!' he said, and went away again.
'...so, Gracie, you went up Steven's and had a good time!'
'I suppose so.' Gracie was sitting with her coat half off, Pat with hers fully on.
'Been doing your exercise?' Pat asked.
'I've been walking up and down stairs.'
'Ah, but have you been told that that counts as the exercise you're meant to do?'
'Heard around and about that it could very well be.'
'But it's your dietician at the surgery would know for certain.'
Grace took her coat slightly more off. 'When I had that frozen thing around my ribs, Marge just pointed me out something straight off the shelf in here.'
'You don't want to be taking advice like that willy-nilly. At least ask the pharmacist.'
'She's always too busy only just in sight putting stuff away in those slidey-out, carousel drawers. And Marge was sitting right opposite me having a macaroon. I'd have gone down the surgery were my problem to have got any worse.'
With reverence Pat said, 'Pharmacists as of recently have new, extra powers to swab for infection.'
Grace snorted. ‘'Well, that's going to do nothing more than one day put the poor doctors in that use it or lose it position that we saw with the branch railways, Woolworths and wet fish shops. But as you say - Happy New Year.'