I crossed our street in a hapless state of fear and trepidation, furtively checking for reckless biddies on pimped-up mobility scooters. I could see my elderly neighbour waiting for me, peeking out from behind the curtains and, I expect, convinced I was unaware of her presence. She was clearly anxious that I wouldn't turn up and to be perfectly fair, I was a few minutes late for our appointment.
She’d approached me a few days earlier. Having trouble working her scanner apparently and certain that, with the help of the young lad opposite, one who no doubt was born with a computer in his mouth, it would get sorted in a jiffy. She led me to the study and within a few minutes I understood her predicament. As a prominent member of one of the town's most notorious pensioner-only gambling rings she needed to scan a few documents and distribute them swiftly by email. Or something like that. It's entirely possible that I had misunderstood something or other and she was merely sending her friends the rules to an obscure Bridge variant.
I was secretly terrified that her computer would be in an irreparable state, riddled with viruses, parasites and dead horses. Instead, sat in the middle of a massive desk, spotless and sickeningly tidy, was a state-of-the-art laptop. It was the first time I'd seen a laptop keyboard that wasn't filled to bursting with evidence of a thousand sandwiches. She took careful notes as I scanned a couple of documents. "Click 'Scan'," tickled me. Then, with the shaky uncertainty of a baby giraffe, she scanned a few herself, frequently checking her notes. Carefully and tentatively, very much aware that it was getting close to Thursday night football, I started sending out "time to go" signals.