For the last few months, the gazing from my window has been less frequent as I knuckle down to another office job. Not for me the joys of walking the dogs while the village children skip to school. These days, I head out in the dark with two panting spaniels and a dodgy torch from Lidl before driving off to workland.
So I find myself at the office Christmas party, surprisingly sober, and watching the dramas unfolding around me: acres of flesh on display, flesh that would be better housed under a nice little bolero jacket, legs up to armpits and people who usually wear glasses suddenly small-eyed and slightly scared looking as they witness the spectacale in contact lenses. There is pent-up passion, hands-on knees-under-tables, a look, a glance, sighing, raised voices, ladies bopping wistfully to Dancing Queen and someone from IT getting up to applause for Sex Machine.
I smile inside, above all this predictable chicanery. I excuse myself and go to the ladies, where colleagues are yelling to each other from the cubicles.
I look in the mirror as I wash my hands and wonder at it all. Here I am, nearly fifty, and scenes from the school disco whizzing past in cinematic montage.
A rather well-built woman comes out fresh from flushing.
'Excuse me, love,' she says.
I bristle, sensing a fight. Had I inadvertently looked at her husband?
'Not being funny but...'
She's moving in for the kill.
'Well, it might be the fashion...' she says.
And then I realise. Lofty, aloof me, has just committed the classic Ladies Toilets Faux Pas.
'You've got your dress tucked into your knickers.'
Now there's a picture that would have looked good on the office intranet.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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