Further probing (of Aunt Ivy, not my teeth) revealed that she had finally got an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat consultant on Friday at 10am. "For my ear problem". I professed to know nothing about her ear problem - clearly my sister was ahead of me on this. "My ears! You know, I get a shooting pain in my left ear, or right ear, which then travels to the other one and makes me fall over because I lose my balance. It's like a steel rope being pulled through my head. It really makes my eyes hurt".
I was flummoxed. "How does an earache and falling over make your eyes hurt?" I wondered. "Because of the pain. I'm squinting." I still professed to know nothing about this whole saga but agreed to pick her up on my way back from school. "She's ever so worried you know" Aunt Ivy continued. "Who?" I asked. "Bea! For God's sake, what's wrong with you?" I informed her that she had interrupted my anniversary meal with her ear problems and Bea's worries. "Oh, is that why Janey's got little'un?" David removed the phone from my ear, said goodnight to his aunt-in-law and whisked me towards the bedroom. I love it when he's being masterful.
Bea rang this morning to check if I was okay to take Ivy to the hospital - I told her I was and asked if she were worried. "No, she'll be fine. It's probably just an ear infection or something". Once I'd clarified what she should be worried about she became extremely agitated. "Oh darling, it's all this economising that's going on. I'm not worried about job losses or wage cuts but, oh my God......" she inhaled deeply. "I may have to share my driver. With someone else." she clarified, no doubt envisaging handsome Sven falling prey to a predatory female and not being on permanent stand-by for lunchtime trips to Harrods. "Or worse! I might have to share him with Henry Henderson who spends his day on golf courses in Surrey - there'll be nine irons on the back seat, tees in the boot and a hand held on permanent charge."
I think she may need therapy.