Sinead walked quickly from her car to the coffee shop, hoping to get there first. It was a new place, only open since last month but she’d heard great things about it. It was her turn to pick the venue for the meet up with Siofra, so it needed to be good!

Siofra. Not her real name by the way. It was Susan, but apparently that wasn’t fancy enough for the folk in the big smoke. Susan didn’t even feckin translate to Siofra! Anyway…

Sinead pulled open the door and scanned the coffeehouse for her friend’s perfectly coiffed head. Usually her Swarovski encrusted Gucci’s flash like a beacon in the crowd. No sign yet. Good. Sinead could get settled with a full fat coffee sans judgement. She only had an hour child-free.

Suddenly, expensive perfume hit her nostrils as an air of glamour wafted into the coffee shop. Siofra had arrived…


Siofra was not best pleased. She had agreed to meet Sinead in the new cafe in their hometown. It wasn’t often that Siofra got down the country now. Her life in Dublin was simply too busy. But she loved to see Sinead. They had been friends practically forever and she was the only one from home who agreed to call her Siofra after she’d changed her name from Susan.

Susan – as a name it was positively pedestrian in its banality! Siofra only wished that Sinead would pronounce her new name correctly as ‘SHE-O-FRA’ and not ‘SHE-O-FU’. She wasn’t a character from bloody Kung Fu Panda!

Anyway, Siofra was not best pleased. Her Range Rover wouldn’t fit in any of the parking spaces outside the cafe. She’d had to park down the road in a ditch and had broken a Kurt Geiger heel climbing out of it.


“Sheofu! Sheofu!!” Sinead shouted a little too loudly. Her friend clocked her with a discreet nod. Gone another shade blonder, noticed Sinead. Surely she’d gone off the human hair colour chart at this stage. It must be a nightmare trying to conceal that violent orange on a continuous basis! And why the hell was she limping?? Sinead wondered as her friend wobbled over to the table, a confused server carrying her coffee behind her.

“Hi! How are you?” She smiled after the awkward D4 air kisses had been dispensed.


“Great, super, could NOT be better!” replied Siofra with a flash of her whiter than white veneers. In the five seconds it took her to fold her long, tanned limbs into the comfy chair, Siofra had scanned Sinead from head to toe to check out her current look.

She was pleasantly surprised. Sinead had shed a few pounds and looked very well put together in a nod to this season’s colours. Sure, her clothes were from the high street, but Siofra appreciated that access to high end fashion was difficult in the sticks.

“Great to see you sweetheart!” exclaimed Siofra smiling warmly. Their lives were very different now but as an old friend, Sinead was one of the only people who spoke honestly to Siofra. Like that time she was drunk as a coot on a bottle of petrol station prosecco at the school reunion. Siofra had been braying like a donkey when Sinead discreetly let her know that she had spinach stuck in her teeth. Sinead had her back and Siofra appreciated that.

Shifting nearer to Sinead, Siofra quietly said,

“I wanted to ask your opinion. I can’t seem to get Isolde to sleep through the night. She’s nearly four months now and Tristan was sleeping through the night from eight weeks! I know you had problems with Pat Jnr. Any ideas? I think she may be too young to have her chakras cleansed.”


Jesus those names, thought Sinead, she’d never get used to them! At least she’d managed to talk Siofra out of using Lancelot and Guinevere. Chakras. Typical Siofra talking about alternative treatments again. But there was something wholly unnatural about having a tube put up your arse. And for a baby?? That was a step too far!

“Yeah, I dunno Sheofu. With Pat Jnr I found the trick was a strong routine. A bit of wind down time, giving him a drop of milk in the nursery and a good tuck in. He fussed for a few nights but when he got the hang of it we were away on a hack! Do you think maybe that big mural of yourself and Dick on the wall could be throwing him off a bit…?”


“Surely not?” questioned Siofra. “The whole idea of the image of RICHARD and I on the wall was to keep a constant presence of Mummy and Daddy in Tristan’s room. To make him feel cocooned in love at all times.”

Siofra paused for thought before she mumbled,

“Perhaps I should get an expert to check if the room Feng Shui is lining up.”

She reckoned Sinead might not have opened her mind to Feng Shui yet, which she really should given that she had opened her mind to calling Pat Jnr’s miniscule box of a room a nursery!

Still, credit to Sinead, she managed to get her children to sleep through the night, and she was a fantastic Mother.


Sinead smiled at her friend. Siofra was a great Mum. Her kids always came first. Sure the time Siofra clotheslined that woman who tried to barrel through the children at the Fota House Santa Experience last year was something to behold!

Siofra had some pretty kooky notions sometimes, but she had a big heart. Like when she posted Sinead that weird jelly. Sinead had given the best part of a week spreading it on her toast before Siofra told her it was for stretch marks!

Sinead glanced at her watch. Her time was up. It always flew.

“Will I get the bill?”