glad & buttons

‘The physio should be here soon,’ I say, finishing off my notes and putting them in the folder.
‘She’ll have trouble parking,’ says Moira. ‘It’s absolutely terrible round here.’
‘My grandson’s got a car that parks itself,’ says Glad.
Glad is Moira’s domestic help. It’s a funny arrangement. Glad is as elderly as Moira, but she gamely drags herself around the place with a duster and a bin bag. ‘You pull up, push a button and off it goes. Don’t ask me how it works. I wouldn’t have a clue. I can’t even work the radio.’
‘Yes. It’s incredible how these things have come on,’ says Moira, sitting in her riser-recliner, her hands placidly folded in her lap.
‘I expect in the future we’ll all be flying around in silver balloons,’ says Glad. ‘You’ll probably park on the roof and come down the chimney. I won’t be around to see it though, thank God. Here – what d’you want doing with these?’
She holds out a bunch of magazines, the top one Good Housekeeping, Mary Berry on the front. Moira looks a lot like Mary Berry, making allowances for the nightie, dressing gown and absence of make-up. They share the same haughty benevolence.
‘Oh I don’t know,’ says Moira. ‘Perhaps the hairdressers might want it. Or just recycle.’
‘Righto,’ says Glad, hobbling with her gammy hip to the side table by the door where she drops the magazines and then opens a cupboard to fetch out the hoover.
‘Look at this beauty!’ she says, pulling out a brand new, highly technical-looking Bosch. ‘Light as a feather. And the suck on it. Not too noisy, neither. And see this button? You press that when you’re done, and it puts itself back in the cupboard.’
She turns the thing on and starts pushing it backwards and forwards.
‘I’m lying about the button,’ she says. ‘Lift your feet, love.’

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