The farmer informed me at about eleven o'clock this morning that a load of straw was arriving at a quarter past twelve. As he has to unload this using his tractor and working from the farm gate it takes quite a long time, so it was arranged that I went into town to do the one or two jobs I had to do and that then I got fish and chips to eat before the straw arrived. We don't have this very often so that when we do we always enjoy it (with mushy peas and plenty of salt and vinegar - despite health warnings).
So off I duly went, sailed through the jobs I had to do, finding Christmas cake decorations easily (why don't I save them from year to year? I always mean to and then they go missing, perhaps there is a great stock of them somewhere which will be found after I die and fashioned into a memorial), no queue at the Post Office, paying the newspaper bill for the week was easy and quick. And so, after ringing the farmer on my mobile to tell him I was just about to get the fish and chips (he could warm the plates and set the table while I was on my way home) I went into the shop.
There was only one customer in front of me, obviously a man who knew the staff well, and they were having a laugh and a joke together. I had taken out my hearing aid to speak to the farmer on my mobile (luckily) so the worst of the language was out of my hearing. But I did hear the shop assistant say several words (they were pretty loud) which I wouldn't dream of saying (or even repeating). When she saw me coming in she put her hand over her mouth and looked quite embarrassed.
I smiled and put her at her ease and she was charming, commenting on the lovely sunshine and the convenience of having fish and chips for lunch. But it does beg the question: who was in the right or wrong? Is such language acceptable these days - particularly from a woman? Am I the one that is old-fashioned?
I don't care to hear bad language from anyone, always believing that it is often poor vocabulary that causes folk to use it. But I care to hear it even less when the speaker is a woman. Is nothing sacred any more or is this a feminist issue that I have missed?