Tag Archives: mother in law

Dear Doctor

You may remember, and if not –why not, that the last time we saw the Prof at the Royal he referred to me as ‘intelligent’ (or, as per accompanying friend’s recollection, very intelligent) however it would appear that B’s brother finds me incapable of recording and passing on a message.

B’s brother rang on Monday to ask (tell) him if he could make an appointment to take the m-i-l to her GP’s as she had a fungal infection in her toe nail.  So I rang up yesterday morning and after taking the second appointment offered, B then rang his mother and then rang the GP’s receptionist back and re-took the first!

At 12:05 today B’s brother rang and asked if B was up.  I said no, whilst resisting the urge to ask what the heck would he be doing up at noon on a work day and that he would be getting up at 14:30.  (I mean he only gets in at 07:50, after food shopping, and had missed breakfast to get to bed earlier than usual to ensure he was up in time.)  So B’s brother started to tell me what he wanted B to say to the GP (along with the toe thing) and when I asked questions (we all know how unlike me that is) he decided he’d try and ring back to speak to B before he left to pick the m-i-l up.  He did but our phone is dodgy (really it is, really) so he left a message that was so complicated I couldn’t have passed it on (despite doing shorthand).

I asked B if you wanted me to do a note to the GP and he said yes.  I wasn’t too sure he was serious or not, but it turned out he was when he asked for it just before he left – so I drafted a quick letter and decided to share it with you – basically, so you know the reason for my impending sudden disappearance.  I would point out that I have met the GP they are seeing and he does have a sense of humour, it was in a sealed envelope and B has strict instructions not to open it before they get in and certainly not in front of his mother!  So I’m completely at the mercy of the GP as to whether they find out what was in it!

Dear Dr S

Bernard’s brother asked if he could bring their mum to see you re a fungal infection on her toe nail (he didn’t say which one).  He also asked if, as she was housebound, the district nurse could call out daily to administer treatment. 

He rang us today to ask if Bernard could ask you to register that she was housebound so that any attention she needed in future could be carried out by the district nurse at home.  I understand she has been going to the walk-in centre for a dressing changed on her leg following a fall and he wanted this to be carried out by the district nurse (as it’s only been convenient to do this because our nephew has been home from Uni).

Despite 103 hospital appts with me this year (okay slight exaggeration) Bernard has the retention quality of a distracted three year old unless it involves pretty women hence this note.

I have no idea if Billinge still has a district nurse or if so whether they would do this sort of thing.

Yours sincerely

Paula Kilgallon (darling daughter in law)

PS – I have told Bernard that if it involves Mary’s big toe this may not be a fungal infection as the last time I took her to the chiropodist (last year) this was discussed and they said it was the result of an injury to the nail bed and filed the nail down.  (I did also say that if it was a fungal infection I’d show my ar… behind in Woollies window* so would be grateful if you could bear this in mind in arriving at your diagnosis. ;D)

*  An expression used only when you felt quite safe that your rear end wouldn’t ‘end’ up on display to passing innocent shoppers.

Don’t wag your ass!

I have no creative space this week.  I was planning on showing off the dress I finished yesterday.  It was about time I started it last August.

I have no photos of me in my dress as I’ve been out today to Liverpool – for pleasure this time, not that I don’t have fun going to the Royal – and I’m pooped.  A friend and I went holiday clothes shopping and surprisingly came back with what we wanted – one pair of trousers and a gift in Chris’s case and all sorts of goodies in mine – more of them to follow.

So in lieu of a creative space I thought I’d share the creative conversation B had with his mother this morning when he called to drop her shopping off and which he couldn’t wait to share with me when he got home.  To save my fingers BBCW stands for BBC weatherman.

BBCW:  ‘…and that’s Friday’s weather.’

M-i-l:  ‘What day is it?’

B:  ‘Thursday.’

M-i-l:  ‘He’s just said it’s Friday.’

B:  ‘No, he was giving Friday’s weather.’

M-i-l:  ‘No, it must be Friday.’

B:  ‘It’s Thursday.’

M-i-l:  ‘I don’t think so.’

B:  ‘I tell you what Mum why don’t you ring S and find out.’ (The m-i-l has got into the habit of ringing B’s brother at 6:30 in a morning to ask what day it is.)

M-i-l:  ‘You ring him.’

B:  ‘Mum I’m not ringing him to ask him what day it is.’

M-i-l:  ‘I’ll ring him then.’

B:  ‘You won’t.  It’s Thursday!’

B then displays a page of teletext (I have no idea how this translates across the oceans/seas but basically it’s pages of written information on the TV like news, shares or weather! accessed via the remote control) and says…

 B:  ‘What does it say there?’

 The m-i-l then reads the content of the page.

 B:  ‘No, what does it say at the top of the page?’

 M-i-l:  ‘Thursday.’

 B:  ‘There you go then.’

 Minutes later…

 BBCW:  ‘And that’s the weather for Friday.’

 M-i-l:  ‘See!  It’s Friday!’

 B:  ‘MUM!’

I nearly wet myself!

 In closing I would like to share a tip, it’s okay it’s free of charge – When you have a small furry family member that wags his tail when pleased/happy and wags his tail and whole body when he’s really pleased/happy ie, when he gets up and comes downstairs to find you in the kitchen all of 10 minutes since he’s last seen you, it’s not a good idea to wag your bum back when you’ve had a bone marrow biopsy two days before.  NB – This may only be relevant if you have a fat ass!

Friday 4 February

Information you need to know – the mother in law has a through living dining room with windows at both ends.

08:15 – I start ringing the doctors to get an appointment.

08:20 – Objective completed I tootle off into the bathroom for morning ablutions.

08:25 and 10 seconds – Phone rings.  I bob out of bathroom thinking it may be the doctors.  It’s the mother in law.

08:25 and 20 seconds – I bob back into bathroom to finish ablutions.

08:27 – Phone rings again.  B is now more awake and I kindly advise him it’s probably his mother.  B gets out of bed to answer the phone.

The following conversation ensues –

B:  ‘Hello.’

M-i-l: ‘I can’t open my front curtains. Come and sort them. I can’t see.’

B:  ‘Mum I’m not coming over now just to open your curtains.  I’m taking Paula to the doctors.  Put the light on.’

M-i-l: ‘What time are you taking her?’

B: ‘It doesn’t matter what time we’re going.  Have you opened the back curtains?’

M-i-l: ‘What?’ And then nothing presumably going to open back curtains or make a cup of tea – who knows!

M-i-l: ‘I still can’t open it.’

B:  ‘Well leave it until later.’

M-i-l: ‘Hmmmpf.’

08:35 – Phone rings again, B misses it resulting in second message and whilst listening to that m-i-l leaves another one.

08:37 – Phone rings again.

B:  ‘Hello.’

M-i-l: ‘I’ve sorted it.  It’s taken me hours.’

B:  ‘Mum, you only started ringing 10 minutes ago.’

M-i-l: ‘I couldn’t see.’

B:  ‘What do you mean you couldn’t see.’

M-i-l: ‘With that ONE curtain closed’ (not the pair) ‘I couldn’t see people walking past.’

B: ‘What?!?!?!’

M-i-l:  ‘Anyway it must have been the way you shut them last night.’

B: ‘So it’s my fault?’

M-i-l:  ‘You’re making me ill.’

I then had to resort to a two week impromtu holiday at the Royal and still couldn’t get away from her as I had to ring for a plumber from my sick bed!

Boxing Day Part I

We multi-tasked and combined Buddy’s walk with the trip to the cemetery as it was my Dad’s anniversary.  I tell you this purely for the sympathy vote, and to point out that I really don’t need to hear about my father in law’s heart attack for the 5,000th time on that of all days.  (My Dad had a coronary artery thrombosis during the night and we found him when he didn’t turn up for lunch – he  would have paid to go that way.)  No, really I tell you this to explain why we were walking through the cemetery where we came across two rather large ball-shaped shrubs at the end of one of the paths with a covering of snow that made them look like Christmas puds AND someone had strategically positioned a red something (carrier bag, flower paper) on top of one so it really did look like a pudding (unfortunately I hadn’t taken my camera).

After we got home B phoned the m-i-l  up at 13:15 to say he was on his way and she informed him  that she’d had a bowl of soup to put her on!  She’d had lunch!  Bearing in mind that she takes every opportunity when faced with a plate of food to state that she doesn’t eat a lot (yeah right – tell that to her empty tin of Roses – chocolates).  This was when I very nearly lost it but thought ‘What the heck, even if she hadn’t had lunch she’d have complained I’d given her too much’.

She pointed out that last year, we’d only had lunch late.  Yes, because the beef wasn’t done enough for her and took forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver to cook and then she didn’t eat it and complained that the veg was cold whilst shovelling it down like it was going to do a runner and therefore she had lunched this year because obviously she would pass out if she had to go another hour without food.  However this year I’d done stew, basically because I would have needed B to peel the potatoes due to my wrist, and I couldn’t have coped with getting him up at 04:30 so that they were done in time.

So the m-i-l was most put out that she went straight to the table rather than got to complain about how late lunch was (although she did manage to do that at Gill’s on Christmas Day).  And obviously complained there was too much.  Then we had pudding (fruit slump which said it didn’t store well) so there was too much.  After complaining about this and B refusing to take any off her and being told 55 times to just leave what she didn’t want I went on a trip to the kitchen, which is all of six feet away, where I heard the m-i-l say to B ‘Will she have some of this?’ and came back through the door to find her indicating that she meant my Auntie Ann by waving her spoon in that general direction.

Never the one to miss an opportunity to moan the m-i-l declared to my Auntie Ann that the problem was her legs.  Now I having gone beyond the smile and nod stage said ‘Are you doing the exercises the physio showed you?’  The physio that back in September it took me about 10 phone calls to sort out and included a load of equipment being provided which she agreed on and then insisted on all but one zimmer frame going back!

M-i-l:  ‘Occassionally, but they don’t work.’

Me:  ‘That’s because you have to do them three times a day.’

M-i-l: ‘Oh!’ With a look that said ‘Thank you for interrupting my moan’.

All through lunch the m-i-l kept saying how cold her hands were.  Now this is not unusual and she has on more than one occasion been known to grab the hand of the person closest, in this case mine, without prior warning and say ‘Feel how cold my hands are!’  Several times with me this has backfired as my hands were colder and this has reduced her to a sullen state.  So I have to say I paid her no mind and carried on eating and it was only when B made sure she got upstairs okay and asked whether the heating was on that I remembered I had set it on timed on Christmas Day to accommodate going to Auntie Ann’s.  Doh.

So after I crazily confessed the m-i-l ended up on the settee huddled under a throw (I burnt it the day after – no not really but I did wash it).

Tomorrow I’ll share how the m-i-l provided a lovely warm welcome for our next door neighbour and his lady friend – okay we ALL know that’s not gonna happen.  She refused to sit at the table with us and caused Bud to lunge viciously at Ben.  Now I’m gonna take a little kip as I think my temp is spiking because I’m struggling to keep my eyes open!  Whatcha mean it’s too much of the easy life and getting waited on hand and foot that I now need an afternoon snooze?


Granny for a Granny

It was the m-i-l’s birthday last Wednesday.  Every year from late November/early December she starts saying that ‘someone’s’ birthday is in January.  Well, yeah a LOT of someone’s have birthdays in January but apparently no-one really bothers for this ‘someone’s’ birthday.  Not that this bothers that ‘someone’.

After a number of years of this you get to the point where you start not to disagree.  A bit like when ‘someone’s’ birthday arrives and ‘someone’ says they don’t get any presents or cards and again after years of ‘Well, you got a card off blah, blah, blah and blah, who else did you expect one off?’ ‘Well no-one’.  Or as you are sitting next to the two vases filled with flowers that you had delivered, and annually blanched over paying that much for flowers that last two weeks you ask…

‘Other than us and your no 1 son, who do you get presents off?’


‘Well didn’t we get you the flowers?’


‘Did you get a present off no 1 son?’

‘No.’  Now I have always interpreted this to mean ‘not yet’ as for all his quirks and foibles I can’t believe B’s brother wouldn’t get her a gift.

This year the m-i-l got a gift off her cleaner.  (Yes she agreed to a cleaner after the visit from Environmental Health – I jest there of course – it’s the one my s-i-l’s parents have.)  A scarf and glove set – it should look just lovely in the wardrobe with the others!  It was just as well the cleaner was so thoughtful as this year she was proved right and our gift is still here sitting on the table.

B was going to take it on Wednesday but I had quite finished it when we got a call to say that the mini bus driver who transports her to and from the Wednesday Club couldn’t get her front door open so, B had to go off sans present and ‘breakfast’.  The m-i-l got a free extended mini bus tour out of it.

A locksmith, from a local extremely reputable firm, called out on Friday to have a look at the lock, as it has been iffy since Christmas.  He rang us just before we left for the Royal regarding payment.  B said the m-i-l had enough cash to pay him which she did.  Apparently though along with the cash she gave him her opinion of the charges – ‘it’s a disgrace’ and ‘disgusting’.  That’s us black balled there then.

So this year in line with my new addiction to crochet (following on from Share a Square – deadline extended to 30 April 2011) and after my spur of the moment attempt to cryogenically freeze her on Boxing Day failed (details to follow) and only resulted in her huddled whingeing under our throw I thought I’d made her one of her own so she could be toasty on her settee at home.  Well we have experienced unusually, for us, low temperatures – and there’s always the chance of spontaneous combustion!

Christmas & the mother in law

We had a wonderful Christmas – I just love it!

We went to my Auntie Ann’s on Christmas Day or as asked by the m-i-l ‘Are you going to that woman’s?’.  And I more or less completely managed this year to avoid letting the mother in law wind me up.  Unlike one year in particular when I ended up slicing salad stuff like it had committed a heinous crime – the m-i-l went on and on about when was she getting her tea resulting in me stropping off into the kitchen missing the last 20 minutes of a film – it’s not as if we could have heard it anyway if I’d stayed.  I wouldn’t mind but she’d only had her lunch 3 or 4 hours before and complained constantly about it being too much.

Oh, and there was the year she was watching her cholesterol and so I double checked if she would eat cheesecake if I made it with low fat cheese – she then wouldn’t eat it as it had raspberries swirled through it and she didn’t like that that resulted in pink swirls – it should have been white with the fruit on top only!

And then there was the year I fractured my elbow (only hairline) and she wanted to know why I wasn’t able to do any baking and in the same breath was excusing my sister in law from doing anything as she had a cold! (Wow, she actually made an allowance for one of us at some point.)

And there was the year that the in-laws turned up on Boxing Day with a turkey for me to cook as they had defrosted it but for some reason couldn’t cook it themselves.  I’d never cooked a turkey before and my father in law had seen on the TV that the best way to cook it was wrap the turkey itself in foil and turn it over part way through cooking – which was entertaining to do.  It wasn’t for us by the way, they took it all home with them.

Anyhoo, moving back to this year and my new tactic.  I am generally quite laid back but the m-i-l manages to get me from zero to KABOOM in about 0.25 milliseconds.  But not this year (well okay, there was one slight start of a flare up but I managed to kick that into touch).

Christmas Day we called at my sister in law’s with Buddy.  Gill’s two Boston Terriers weren’t Buddy friendly and were dispatched to the kitchen while Bud discovered their squeaky toys in the lounge and set out dismantling one.  I know very inconsiderate of me but by the time I reached out for it, it was already squeakless.

This is Benson aka Benny…

This is Dorothy aka Dottie (back in August, she’s a bit bigger now)…

I managed to avoid having to kiss the m-i-l as I had Bud on the lead and she’s frightened of dogs.  My sis in law’s mum complimented me on my hair and how it suited me short.  The m-i-l agreed then asked Gill’s mum if it was a wig.

Then she insisted that my eldest nephew moved from the arm of the settee to the spot just vacated by the youngest nephew near to her.  When he proved to be less than enthusiastic and only moved on about the fifth suggestion she put her hand up to her mouth and WHISPERED to Gill’s mum ‘I don’t think he thinks much about me.’  Obviously I heard this WHISPER across the room so goodness knows what eldest nephew thought – probably whatever the most modern equivalent of ‘Beam me up Scotty’ is.  I meanwhile found it good to know that it’s not only Bernard she says this about/to!

She then pointed out that Bud was eating the squeaky toy.  ‘No, Mary’ I said very insistently ‘he isn’t, he’s spitting it out!’ as evidenced by the 102 pieces strewn over the rug.  As it turned out, and as much as this pains me, she wasn’t wrong on that count.  Not right you understand, just not wrong.  I found this out on Monday morning around 06:00 when I awoke to find a small furry face peering at me over the edge of the bed.  ‘That’s unusual’ I thought ‘Bud doesn’t normally get off the bed until I get up’.  So I scooched over and Bud reclaimed some of the duvet.

I meanwhile tootled off downstairs to get a head start on the painkillers so I my wrist didn’t kick off when I got up.  Fortunately I put my socks on as it was still very cold and by the time I got to the kitchen I thought mmmm, well okay not at first, it was 06:00ish after all (that’s 6 in the AM!), so I finally thought ‘mmmmm, why’s my sock a bit moist?’.  I turned round and there on the dining room laminate was a little pile of Buddy sick, and a little further away another little pile.  Both piles as it turned out containing little bits of squeaky snowman!  There was also a puddle of wee under the dining table but I didn’t notice that at the time. B noticed it when he got up later but only after Bud was giving it a passing sniff!

Okay, back to Boxing Day… well, maybe that’s enough for one post – Christmas Part II Boxing Day to follow…

Christmas from a Shop

I would like to bring to your attention a recommendation that Lorna made about a TV programme.

“I was watching a programme on ITV this afternoon called “May the best Christmas house win.” I’m sure it was you pretending to be a Mancunian, she certainly had your craftiness and giggle. It was you wasn’t it? If you didn’t catch it maybe it’s on Sky+ or some other on demand channel.”

Lorna was even kind enough to forward me a link to said programme.  It involved four women going to each others houses to critique the others’ Christmas decorations/style, obviously these were very different styles.

  • One had leopard print baubles and feathery masks on the tree
  • One had enough illuminations to rival Blackpool and not enough room left inside to swing a very small cat, probably also dressed as santa
  • One had a very designer edge, black tree, sparkly, glitter style
  • And the fourth one had handmade crafty decs – which leaned heavily on owls but had knit bunting, I-cord and mushrooms

And the winner was… Leopard Baubles – with Crafty Christmas an abysmal fourth.  (I actually liked the one with the BLACK Christmas tree!)

Really, really abysmal – someone voted Crafty a TWO!  Now I’m not too sure what the lovely Lorna meant by the similarities (and I would point out that this is just the right time to be mean to Lorna because she is currently strung tighter than a pole dancer’s thong and all because Mike is on holiday at the moment) but Crafty Christmas had no bought decs.  Well, I would like to point out that I actually do.

I have some baubles, well they are bought but not on the tree, I attached them to ribbon and hung them from the wall lights…

Well, I have some stockings that were bought as panels and then sewn together and embellished…

Mmmm, I have some bought bowls, that I added little shiny stars and floating candles and then ‘Just Add Water’.

Well I do have a wreath with plastic bags that I knocked up on Boxing Day – oh, but they weren’t bought bags they were still free.  I had planned on making one for a while so had been saving bags and fortunately with making a ton of Myeloma Buddies I’d got a LOT of stuffing from a shop that had kindly changed their bags from cream to white and burgundy so I had enough of one type for the whole wreath.  Although I had to work hard to get them from the bottom of my sack of bags – so hard that I had to keep nipping upstarts to find another one – this had nothing to do with the mother in law being in the living room!  At one point my Auntie Ann nodded off – I am giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she didn’t feign sleep to avoid hearing about my father in law’s fatal heart attack yet again!

I just cut the bags into strips with pinking shears and tied two strips at a time onto an embroidery hoop.

And I couldn’t resist being a copycat and making some of the crocheted snow flakes like Fiona – oh hang on, they’re definitely not bought!

Oh, oh, I do, I do have some shop bought unadulterated ornaments… TA DA…

Bud gave them a good hard look when they appeared on the cabinet but so far hasn’t made an attempt to liberate them.  It’s just as well they no longer sing and dance, or rather wiggle, that might be too much as evidenced by Bud making off with Auntie Ann’s singing puppy on Christmas Day.

Now I’m sure you all want to know how Christmas with the mother in law went, well tomorrow, once I’ve recovered enough to commit it to hard copy I’ll be sure and let you know about our Christmas, which includes such exciting things as what to say to enamour your eldest grandson to you, what you should eat before arriving for a Boxing Day lunch, what to do if someone tries to poison you with purple lettuce and how to ingratiate yourself with your daughter in law by switching from calling her Auntie ‘that woman’ to calling her small furry family member ‘that dog’, oh, and asking if she’s wearing a wig!


Hold your plums!

What? It was the name of a quiz show on the local radio at some point in the late ’80s and early ’90s.  It was on radio Merseyside and it was chock full of scousers – for those of you who weren’t here for my SCT holiday – a scouser is a colloquial term for someone from Liverpool also known as a Liverpudlian.

This quiz was on Sunday lunchtimeish and I used to listen to it at my Great Auntie Betty’s where I had my Sunday lunch at the time.

It was hosted by Billy and Wally (Wally SOUNDED quite good looking) and took place in front of a live audience.  Well liveish since it was the Sunday after the Saturday night before!

If a contestant got their questions right, often with a lot of clues there was a chance of winning something by way of a one arm bandit (a slot machine), which ‘displayed fruit’ and gave options of holding various kinds of fruit.  An example would be the machine saying…

It’s a plum!

It’s a blemon! (No, that’s not a typo)

It’s a plum!

Hold your plums!

The show had a few catchphrases funnily enough ie,

‘Hold your plums’

‘Its a blemon’

‘Give us a clue Billy!’

Anyhoo, a friend forwarded this link to me yesterday and if you only click on one link today click this one – it is the far side of hilarious!

Hold your Plums!

It kind of reminds me of a typical conversation with the mother in law, well, apart from the scouse accent and the laughter!

An Idiot Abroad

I have spent long hours trying to think how to describe the mother in law’s life philosophy with the correct degree of accuracy.  Today I find it has been done for me.  I just watched the preview show to An Idiot Abroad, the new show by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.  The m-i-l is the female equivalent of Carl Pilkington.  For those of you who have also seen the show, this may seem harsh.  I thought it may be until I heard Carl describe the Welsh and their use of the Welsh language.

They only use it to confuse the English.  They speak English until an English person approaches and then they speak Welsh.

I have had the exact conversation a number of times in the past with the m-i-l, who despite my best endeavours refuses to change her opinion.  The fact that I booked survey appointments for properties in North Wales for seven years and for some of that time worked for a surveyor for whom Welsh was his first language was beside the point.

m-i-l:  ‘The Welsh are ignorant.  When we went you walked into a shop and they’d be talking in English and as soon as they saw you they’d start to speak in Welsh.’

Me:  ‘How did they know you were English?’

m-i-l:  ‘They just did.’

Me:  ‘Mary, for many people Welsh is their first language.  They speak it at home.  Once you get to Anglesey and Caernarfon a LOT of people learn Welsh first.’

m-i-l:  ‘No, they don’t.  They’re just ignorant.  When have you been to Wales.’

Me:  ‘Only once as an adult but I speak to them every day at work.  They are generally really nice.’

m-i-l:  ‘No, they’re not.  I’ll never go again.’   (Well I’m sure the whole of Wales is really disappointed about that.)

The only difference I would say between the m-i-l and Carl Pilkington is that there is no way on the planet that Mary, even in her youth, would have gone to see the Seven Wonders of the world.  When we said we were going to Australia in 2007 she told us we should go to somewhere like Benidorm or Tenerife instead it was closer to home.

Just before we went we’d taken the m-i-l and Bernard’s dad out for a shopping trip and we were driving past trees.

m-i-l:  ‘You won’t get these in Australia.’

Me:  ‘Why?’

m-i-l:  ‘It’s all sand.’

Me:  ‘Not all of it.  There are forests too.’

m-i-l:  ‘There aren’t.’

And the m-i-l certainly wouldn’t have entertained any sort of ‘foreign’ food, she has never even tried rice and mushrooms are a bit of a grey area!   I once asked what she ate when they’d been abroad – apparently there are a lot of places you can get English food!

Daughter of Cujo – Part I

Way back a fortnight last Monday we took the m-i-l to the doctors for the results of her blood test.  We had to take her because when the receptionist had asked delicately whether she was capable of taking the results over the phone and I had to say no.  The doctor apologised for this but it’s not his fault she doesn’t listen unless it involves a pie or cup of tea!

Basically her platelets are a little low, well within normal range but a little bit lower than the previously constant level so they want to keep their eye on this.

While we were in the waiting room we discovered a way to keep the m-i-l relatively quiet.  Someone she didn’t want to talk to came in and she only spoke twice the whole time he was in the waiting room with us.  Unfortunately it wasn’t that long.  A gentleman brought the visiting priest in for his dressing changed and the m-i-l commented ‘Ohh, he’s big isn’t he?’  (This was after being informed that he was normally in Rome – which intrigued even me as a non-believer – but I didn’t get to enquire further as the priest was ‘big’.)  This comment was fielded exceptionally well by the companion ‘Yes, he is tall!’  Even though we all knew that’s not what she meant!

Whilst waiting the m-i-l announced she had a cold and sneezed.  I shot further up the bench and gave B a piercing look.  This is the second time she’s done this to me.

m-i-l:  ‘What?’

Me:  ‘Mary, why didn’t you say you thought you’d got a cold before.’

m-i-l:  ‘Well I haven’t really my nose is just running and I haven’t got a hanky.’  Wiping nose with hand after second sneeze – I nearly pass out!

B went and got tissue from receptionist whilst Mary found a hanky in her pocket!

m-i-l:  ‘Are you better now?’

Me:  ‘Well…’

m-i-l:  ‘Yes or no?’

Me:  ‘Is not that simple!’

m-i-l:  ‘Oh. Isn’t it?’  In well you look fine, so I think it must be that simple tone of voice.  Well no, it isn’t and I’m not prepared to talk about it in front of people I don’t know from Adam at shouting level and then have you cut me off with something like ‘Do they know we’re here?’ when you get bored or don’t understand what I’m saying!

The doctor that we saw is young, cheerful and broad – not in a ‘big’ way but in his accent – which for some reason always makes me speak broader too!  A bit ‘eee by eek as pies cum’ – even though I’m not from Wigan!  Here’s a little Wigan joke, that may get lost in translation

‘A fitness instructor says to a group of women in Wigan ‘Hands on thighs’ and they all cover their eyes.’  Boom, boom.

When we get back to the m-i-l’s B offers to make a cup of tea.  Whilst he’s doing this I take a look at the phone, because although Mary is notorious for not putting it down correctly it has been engaged a bit more than normal.  To the extent that my eldest nephew sent me a message on facebook from South Africa saying they’d not been able to get through.  They’d manage to speak to Mary once in the first week but as far as she was concerned this constituted not having spoken to them!

So I messed about with the portable phone and determined that the Careline connection seemed to be causing some problem with this so plugged the old fashioned traditional wired phone in and it worked fine.  To enable the m-i-l to sit down using this phone I moved one of the little stacking tables next to the closest chair, which required explanation whilst she oversaw the job from the settee.  ‘There’s a plug there not plugged in.’  ‘It’s for the lamp.’  ‘I don’t use that, it doesn’t need plugging in.’ In the process of putting the portable phone in a safe place I kicked my cup of tea which splashed the carpet generously.

The amount of kitchen roll I used to soak it up became an issue.  I’d stopped B scrubbing at it with the paper towel and was quietly soaking it up…

m-i-l:  ‘That looks fine from here.’

Me:  ‘It’s still wet’.

m-i-l:  ‘It will be fine when it dries.’

Me: ‘It will leave a mark.’

m-i-l churning:  ‘…using all the kitchen roll.’  (Because kitchen roll is worth so much more than a carpet!)

Me:  ‘Fine, if you’re happy with with.’  Getting up and going into the kitchen.  Okay it wasn’t that short – I put up a bit of resistance to stopping but in the end thought ‘Sod it, it’s not my carpet.’

m-i-l:  ‘Well it looks okay from here come and have a look.’

Me:  ‘As long as you’re happy with it, that’s fine.’

m-i-l:  ‘No, it does!’

B then insisted on making me another cup of tea as he’d thrown the remainder of the other one away.

I collapse into the chair as I am now breathless and NEED a sit down as she seems to suck the energy from me at the best of times, I think it’s partly because I have to raise my voice as she can’t hear me.  I’m sure she does this to wind me up because as B pointed out she heard some women in the doctor’s no problem.

m-i-l:  ‘That chair’s too far back.’  The one I’m sitting in.

Me:  ‘I didn’t move the chair.’

m-i-l:  ‘It’s not normally there.  There’s stuff behind it I need to get to.’

Me:  ‘Fine I’ll take a look when I get my breath back.’  I hate admitting that I couldn’t get my breath but otherwise she wouldn’t let up.  As it turned out she still didn’t let up.

What felt like 20 minutes later, it was probably five, she was still on about the chair.  I would have got up in a strop and checked the chair but I just didn’t have the energy.  At this point B raised his voice and she sulked – for all of a minute and then carried on.

When I finally got up to check the chair it was exactly where it normally was with its casters snugly in the indentations in the carpet.

Then she started about having her hair done.  She’d been two weeks ago but now she’d decided her legs weren’t up to it and she was going to go round the corner.  B mentioned the mobile hairdresser that she’d refused a few months ago, but still no!

On the journey home I found the energy to moan a few times about how she zapped my energy.  B said he was embarrassed by his mother once while in with the doctor.  She had complained about the doctor running late whilst we were in the waiting room and other people going in before her, including the priest, even though they were going to see the nurse.  She asked the doctor how come he’d been so long with the previous patient, he told her it was because they were discussing their holidays!  The m-i-l said ‘Were you?’  She’s never done this type of humour well.  There used to be an advert with a ‘panda’ doing some tricks and when I said that it was amazing that they could train a panda to do that sort of thing, she informed me, quite seriously, that it was a man in a panda suit!

Don’t miss Daughter of Cujo part II – where I discover the ultimate mother in law deterrent!