David no longer wears a hangdog expression and could be heard to loudly shout "Bollocks!" yesterday evening when a football pundit said something he disagreed with and didn't even say "Whoops, penny in the swearbox!" afterwards. That's one of her favourite sayings is that, although her idea of swearing (crumbs, crikey and fiddlesticks) is so not my idea of swearing. I've always said that, if you're going to have a good swear up, make it worthwhile. I had a very enjoyable afternoon on Monday in the garden effing and blinding like a navvy. Jack Next Door looked up from planting his begonias to ask if Amelia got off okay.
Her relationship with Jack seems to be cooling - they're no longer at the finishing-each-others-sentences stage, in fact they barely spoke during Sunday lunch other than to ask each other for a variety of condiments. I asked him about it on Monday and he gave a little shrug before wiping his brow. "She's a little bit....erm.....difficult. When she wants to be" he admitted quietly. I admired his honesty and ability to understate the bleeding obvious.
Ginny lasted two hours before she scuttled back to Windsor on Wednesday. "I take my hat off to you darling girl" she said as she got back into her ancient Volvo. "How on earth are you managing with the bitter old bird?". She didn't give me a chance to answer as she gunned her way out of the Avenue. I rang David from the kerb who promised to get home as soon as he could. Four hours later he arrived by which time I'd heard all about her disappointment that Ginny "never married and never had children". I received possibly the most backhanded compliment during that conversation: "At least you married David and have had Mackenzie" she said as she dunked her ninth Bourbon cream into her tea. She even managed to make it sound as if she really didn't mind that I'd married her precious son which was a major bonus.
The weekend wasn't too bad, Matt took her off to see The Sainted Kate on Saturday which gave me a nice break. I made endless cups of coffee, watched trash on television, ate the rest of Mac's sweets and spent time with my boys and my hounds. Even when she came home full of the Wonders of David's Ex Wife, I managed to stay calm and saved my mini meltdown for bedtime: I dropped a bottle of my Philosophy Cinnamon Buns shower gel on my foot and sobbed for ten minutes on David's shoulder. It helped.
The Sunday Roast was "too tough" and she only managed to eat the vegetables and was very miffed (but couldn't let it show) when Mac informed her that she couldn't "have any pudding Gran because you haven't eaten your dinner". He meant it as well and, well, it was only fair to agree with him. "After all," I said sweetly as I served David a slice of rhubarb pie with custard "you wouldn't let him have any jelly on Friday when he didn't eat all of his baked beans".
I also made it known to the household that I knew she'd sneaked a slice of pie out of the fridge at some point overnight. Revenge, like leftover rhubarb pie, is best served cold.
As I've already pointed out to David (on numerous occasions), we've done more than our fair share of putting up with her. I've told him that I don't want to see her again until at least after the second May Bank Holiday. This promise was difficult to extract from him because Lydia has arranged Freddie's christening for the Sunday before the first May Bank Holiday. I've let him off with that one on understanding she does not stay at ours. "I don't care if she books into the Ritz at our expense, I'm not having her back here yet" I said. David pleaded with me not to repeat that comment to Amelia. I retorted that I didn't care if she knew what I'd said but he was more worried that she'd take me up on my offer.
So, calm and normality has once again been restored to Nunhead Mum's household. Well. Lydia has been hinting that she wants me to help arrange the christening party, Auntie Ivy feels she should "really do something" for Uncle Jim's 60th and David is looking to find a summer holiday destination that a) isn't "too foreign", b) isn't "too expensive" and c) isn't "too, well, y'know".
I have absolutely no idea what any of them expect me to do about any of it!