Their glasses were all empty. Edna noticed that as the nice young orderly from the nursing home wheeled her past the pub. Her hearing wasn’t so good any more, so she couldn’t make out what they were saying. They were obviously wrapped up in their conversation and talking animatedly about something. From the scarf one of them was wearing, it was probably about football.
The city was bustling. The school holidays were in full swing, workers were let out from their offices for the weekend and it was her turn for a shopping trip into the city. It was nice to get away from the home once in a while. There were only so many times you could sit in the garden or read in the quiet room before you yearned for something a bit fresh. She had a little money with her, enough to treat herself and the orderly to a cake and a cup of tea at the little cafe near the river. Maybe if she found something cheap, she’d treat herself.
As she was wheeled down the high street, something very expensive caught her eye in a charity shop window. “Peter?” She called. “Peter!”
“Yes, Mrs Burrows?” Peter said, bringing the wheelchair to a stop.
“Could we go in there? I’ve seen a nice hat.” She gestured over to the window.
“Of course we can. We can go wherever you want today.” He smiled down at her. It was a bit of a job to navigate the chair into the store, but he did so without knocking it against the door frame and flagged down a shop assistant to get the hat.
It was marvellous! Bright and blue with all sorts of feathers and fascinators forming an elaborate crown. The brim was wide and it would be perfect for sitting in the sun. It must have been worn to a race day at some point, or a fancy wedding. With slightly shaky, wrinkled hands she placed it on head to cover the thinning white hair. “How do I look, Peter?”
“Like royalty at Ascot.” He said with a brilliant white smile, drawing a rich laugh from her.
The marvellous item was only two pounds fifty! Edna Burrows carefully removed the exact change from her little coin purse.
She couldn’t wait to get back to the home and show off her new hat.