Mrs D discovered a glaring omission in her dress code
FORGETFULNESS is something which is assumed to come with age. Though, thinking about it, we're all prone to slip of memory no matter what particular landmark birthday we might have passed.
Anyway, that's justification for my own mental shoddiness. And I'll throw my wife's into the same mix, too.
One of the worse things I find myself doing is discovering I have headed out for the day in what I imagined was a pristine tie only to realise, far too late, that the reason it was lurking in the back of the wardrobe was because yours truly had managed to sully its appearance with a permanent stain.
The cause is, almost without exception, something obtaining oil, a substance lethal to most materials.
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Odd socks are a problem on occasion, too. Black and dark blue are particularly difficult to distinguish on dark winter mornings, until in the harsh light of day, bending down to tie one's shoelaces, you realise your error.
Usually, though, you can get away with it unless you have to roll up your trousers to go for a paddle. It's not so easy with other slips of memory, mind.
My wife came up with a cracker, recently. We'd headed for London with a grand-child in tow for an overnight stay.
Our hotel was rather swish and, as befits such establishments, had not one, but two, top-hatted, frock-coated fellows to open and close its front doors. Trouble is, en route to the capital and this classy abode, Mrs D had discovered a glaring omission in her dress code.
She had felt discomfited in her apparel. To be specific, her trousers felt a tad too tight.
It was only as we hurtled through the London approaches at 125mph she discovered the reason why. She was wearing her old gardening trousers. Both knees were covered ingrained with grime.
Now I know they were getting ready for the Chelsea Flower show but this was pushing things too far in a bid to bring a little bit of the countryside to the big city.
There was nothing that could be done, though, for Paddington was approaching fast. So we bit the bullet and, in the pouring rain, arrived at our overnight residence with at least one-third of our party looking as if they had come straight from a muddy Glastonbury festival.
The chaps in the top hats were discretion personified, as were the reception staff as we dripped over their marbled halls. They must have noticed my wife's knees but looked the other way, as all good hotels would do.
But we were early and our room was not yet ready so the ordeal was not yet over. With grandson chafing at the bit to get out and explore poor Mrs Muddyknees had no time to change. As we set off, I recalled, an incident some years previously when her father, whilst attending a family wedding, was found to have worn a pair of odd shoes, one slip-on, one-lace-up, in different colours. It must run in the family.