Now I love a good renounce as much as the next girl, but since the days of compulsory boarding-school chapel I prefer not to spend my Sundays on my knees.
I'm guessing it wasn't a chore for her though. She was climbing the stairs ahead of me in that deliberate way that people do when they come to realise that they can't take their movements for granted. Usually I gently squeeze past those careful climbers, offering up a quick, silent prayer for eternal health and youthful legs as I stride past.
But even from the back she was arresting. Her suit was a soft purple, and her pillbox hat echoed the shade exactly. One hand gripped the banister, but the other held a gold bag just as tightly. The same gold was woven through her shiny high-heeled sandals and jangled from her wrists. Fashion vampires may warn us against the allure of matchy-matchy, but this was one lady who was not buying what they were selling. She was put together. She had an outfit. She was heading back from Church with her head held high and her gold bag in a death-grip.
This lady in purple and gold made me think of the frocks languishing in my own wardrobe, waiting for a Sunday Best that never comes, or squandered on some Tuesday whim. For once I don't hurry past. Instead I wait until she's swished up the final step and watch her head back to her workaday week.