Sunday, 27 April 2008

The best laid plans

I might have known that my plans for Amelia's visit this weekend (dinner out on Saturday, Jack taking her home at 5pm on Sunday) would go awry, especially when she had a very definite view of how the weekend would pan out. Added to which, the unseasonable weather yesterday rendered me unable to anything but sit out in the garden marvelling "It's April!" every ten minutes or so. Anyway. As they say, the best laid plans and all that. I did manage to get out to Sainsburys without her but she was waiting for me when I got home and commented on my canned goods. "David likes a nice tin of mushroom soup" she said as she peered at a tin of custard. "You'd be better off making it from fresh" she said with a sniff as she banished my Ambrosia to the back of the cupboard. She took one look at the amount of veg, fruit and salad I unpacked and said sniffily "That'll never last the week."

Cleaning duty next and man did she have a field day. "You'd get far more purchase on that mop if you used both hands" she said as I half-heartedly ran a Flash liquid soaked mop over the utility room floor. "Oh, you buy this polish do you?" she went on as I whizzed round the living room with a duster. I didn't dare start in on the decorating, besides, I wanted to lounge around the garden in the sun while David and Mac were at The Den for the last home game of the season. "Oh Lord, they're out here" she hissed as we set up our chairs. Indeed, Frank and Marjorie were spread out on their lawn on luridly coloured beach towels, the whiff of Ambre Solaire on the breeze. "Hello campers!" giggled Marjorie and screamed as Frank tickled her. I got stuck into my book whilst my mother in law unravelled wool, found her place on her knitting pattern and started clacking away. "We're making toys" she said after ten minutes of silence. "For the Rotary Club summer fayre" she went on when I merely nodded my acknowledgement. Five minutes passed where the only sounds were clacking needles, the low hum of conversation from Frank and Marjorie and tweeting birds. Idyllic.

"I'm not going out with Jack tonight. Well, it's silly him paying all that money out when we can eat with you. What are we having for dinner?"

I put down my book and breathed deeply. I had planned nothing for dinner, hoping instead to get away with a Chinese takeaway while the geriatric sweethearts went out for dinner a deux. Amelia doesn't "do" Chinese takeaway and so huffed and puffed a bit when I told her. "Well, if you want to spend good money on something that you could make at home for pennies" she sighed and went back to her knitting. Ten minutes later. "I fancy some tea. Do you?" This was in fact code for "I want a cup of tea, in you go and put the kettle on". Five minutes later, tea made, I picked up my book, shot her a look and started to read.

"You'd best go and show me this takeaway menu then, see what takes my fancy". she instructed. By the time David and Mac got home at twenty to six I was on my second glass of wine.

To escape the madness I headed shower-wards. I love a good shower/pamper session and planned to make the most of my pardon by slathering myself in raspberry shower gel and then raspberry scrub, soaking my feet and just generally being a girlie. An hour later I descended the stairs, hair washed and conditioned, dressed in comfy lounging jammies and wafting the scent of the fruit that I can't bear to eat but adore bathing in. "How long has she been up there?" came a disapproving voice from the kitchen "How long does it take to have a shower?" she demanded of me the minute I entered the room. Jack Next Door was already in situ and smiled winningly at me. "I adore a nice long shower" he said with a wink in my direction. Amelia immediately softened "Do you lovey?" she said, beaming at him. David and I exchanged glances. "Not long to go darling, she'll be going home on Monday." he whispered as he went out to open the door to the delivery man.

Monday? "Monday?" I hissed as I followed him out into the hall. "Yes, didn't she say? She didn't want to drag Jack all the way out to Sevenoaks at that time of night so she said she'll get the train back on Monday morning."

Is it any wonder that I ate all of the King Prawn Balls myself?


aims said...

Better you than me...sorry girl...

But it did give me a good laugh this morning ...that and the porridge story too.

Oh Lordy! Thankfully MIL lives 3000 miles away and is allergic to cats.

Belle said...

Can I just say a HUGE thank you.

I have had a very bad weekend having heard yesterday that this country cannot find a primary school place for my darling daughter. Grrrr.

...but reading this post has just made me laugh out loud for a full minute. And now I feel much better.

Amelia should come over to our house and hang out with Pauline.

Merry said...

I suppose snickering at this point would not be a kind and supportive thing to do. Would a restrained smile be acceptable? I think MILs are best appreciated 6,000 miles away.
(Not that I'm hinting you put yours on a plane to Oregon. Honest.)

Merry said...

The other day I calculated the mileage, and my most annoying relatives live 666 miles away from me. Coincidence?

marriedwithfour said...

Now my hubby is not working my MIL informed me the other day "I had to keep 2 jobs going when i was your age" obviously hinting that although her darling son has left his family in the lurch by way of his resignation, it is high time I got off my arse and let him lounge around at home indulging himself for a bit. At least Amelia isn't only 5 minutes drive away and doesn't have a key! And why has such an old bat got such a pretty name?

Potty Mummy said...

No. It's no wonder at all. And if I were you I would have sent David out to buy the local newsagents out of G&B chocolate as well...

Kelly said...

I don't think I'd ever have left the bathroom again.....xx

All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.