My quiet morning commute to work was interrupted when I recognised a girl I used to work with called Marion.

I hadn’t seen Marion for many years and as she proceeded to plank herself down on the seat opposite me, I nodded in recognition and gave her a big cheesy grin before asking.

“Hi there, how are you doing?”

“Hi, I’m fine,” was her mousy reply.

“I haven’t seen you for years and years,” I gushed.

“You’re looking as fabulous as you always did.”

“Em………. Well thanks.”

After a silent pause my former colleague asked.

“So how are all the girls?”

I wondered if she meant my school pals, my walking pals or the girls we both used to work with.

But as I was unsure I decided to keep it vague.

“Oh, you know, they’re as mad as ever.”

A minute or so later I broke the awkward silence again with another random question.

“How’s the family these days?”

“Yes, they’re all doing well, in fact we’re not long back from a trekking holiday in Iceland.”


“Oh that’s sound brilliant.”

I had only ever been to Iceland for groceries and it was beginning to seem like we didn’t have a lot in common after all the years had passed so I asked.

“Do you still keep in touch with Alan in Finance?”

“Alan?” she queried.

“Was that his name?”

“I thought it was Richard.”

“Oh maybe you’re right.” I was aware I was staring intently at her face as I continued.

“It probably was Richard because I’m not very good at remembering names,” I confessed.

“Do you still keep in touch with Fiona in Human Resources?”


“Yes, remember Fiona with the long brown hair.”

Registering Marion’s expressionless face I began to whisper.

“She had quite a noticeable limp.”


“Fiona with the long brown hair and the limp?”

These were the only distinguishing features I thought Marion might recall.

But no.

“Emmm……….,” Marion’s gaze was still blank as I added.

“She was married to Bob with the guide dog.”


I reckoned Marion’s memory was worse than mine as I added.

“Remember she was the talk of the steamie when she had an affair with Dave from Facilities.”

Marion feigned a grin and shrugged her shoulders and I began to feel my stomach flutter slightly.

Secretly I scanned Marion from head to toe as she gazed out of the window when suddenly the penny dropped and I realised that I had never met this woman before in my life!

I reckoned because I had been so friendly, the poor woman must have thought she just couldn’t remember who I was and was too polite to say anything.

So, from that morning on I travel in a different carriage than ‘Marion’s’ in the hope that I never bump into her again. (No doubt she hopes the same).

Regaling my cringe worthy incident to my group of friends at our weekly catch up reminded Amanda of the time she was in Morrison’s doing her weekly shop.

“I spotted my brother at the far end of the aisle and decided to surprise him,” she told us.

“So I sneaked up behind him, covered his eyes with my hands and whispered in his ear ‘guess who?”

Following my embarrassing tale, we all had a good idea where this story was heading as Amanda continued.

“He stood like a statue rhyming off names trying to guess who had accosted him and rendered him temporarily blind until…..”

According to Amanda a giant burly stranger came up to her and bellowed.

“What the heck is going on here then?”

Amanda said she had never clapped eyes on the woman who was fuming at her for having her hands all over her husband and, as I turned out, Amanda had never clapped eyes on the poor man she mistakenly thought was her brother.

We were still laughing when Mae, who is a barber and stylist began to tell us about a recent experience she had with one of her regular customers.

“Returning from the back shop, Bobby from Condorrat was sitting in my seat and instructed. ‘Hi Mae, just the usual please.”

It seemed to me like this was a straightforward task for an experienced barber like Mae.

But I was wrong.

“We chatted and laughed like we always do whilst I cut his hair, but when I brushed Bobby down and removed the cape he started to inspect himself more closely in the mirror.”


“Mae, what the bloody hell have you done?” Bobby roared.

Mae tried to defend her actions as we wondered what she had done to Bobby’s hair.

“It was an easy mistake to make girls.”

She took a sip of wine.

”I got Bobby from Condorrat mixed up with Colin from Carbrain and gave Bobby a totally different haircut.”

Well….. we all make mistakes.