‘Come on, Sue! Let’s sit down,’ said Amy clearing away a pile of newspapers and magazines from the lounge and plumping up the cushions. ‘How are you, love? How’s married life?’
Sue blushed, her face radiant. ‘Wonderful! But guess what?’
‘You’re pregnant!’ laughed Amy. ‘It’s written all over your face!’
‘Oh, gosh! Is it really? We want to keep it a secret for a while. I haven’t even told Mum yet. But I was going to tell you. You won’t say anything, will you Amy? Specially to those two up there?’ Sue nodded her head towards the neighbouring houses where Betty and Bessie lived.
‘You might as well tell them,’ laughed Amy. ‘They’ve been betting on it for weeks. Ever since you announced you were getting married in five days time.’
‘But they were wrong, weren’t they? I wasn't pregnant then. It’s only just happened.’
‘Well you’d just better hope it doesn't come early. They’ll be counting the days.’
‘Let them!’ said Sue indignantly. ‘Anyway, how are you?’
‘Oh, I’m all right, love. Bit pukey in the mornings but not too bad.’
‘And Paddy? How’s he?’
Amy raised her head and rolled her eyes. ‘Up to as much mischief as ever. Honestly, Sue! I can’t keep up with him! He’s into something every two minutes. Just look at the place!’ She swept her hand around to indicate the general clutter of the room. ‘You want to know what he did today?’ Sue nodded and Amy went on. ‘He got into my grocery cupboard, pulled down a new pack of sugar and broke it all over the floor. Then he piddled in it and sat down. I thought he was being too quiet. So I went to investigate. And there he was, the little bugger, eating it!’
Sue burst out laughing.
‘All very well for you to laugh,’ scolded Amy. ‘Wait till it’s your turn. You’ll laugh on the other side of your face then!’
Bill arrived back with the grog. He found some glasses among the dishes on the sink, rinsed them out and started pouring the drinks.
‘None for me, thanks, love!’ warned Sue.
‘Oh, come on, Sue!’ said Amy. ‘Don’t be such a wowser!’
‘It’s not that,’ said Sue. ‘I just don’t like the taste that’s all. Gosh! How could I be a wowser growing up in our house? Mum was trying to get me to drink beer when I was only nine years old.’
‘Try this!’ said Bill passing over a glass of pale pink bubbly liquid. ‘You’ll like it, I promise you. It’s a shandy. Lemonade with a dash of sherry. Give it a go, love.’
‘Well, here’s looking at you!’ said Amy and they all clinked glasses. ‘Here’s to us! And a better bunch of bastards I’ve yet to see.’
‘I’ll drink to that!’ said Bill, swigging some down. Sue tried hers and did the same.