working towards perfection (and failing)

Category: Family (Page 2 of 2)

Qyzen the Qytten

Once upon a time, not very long ago in the grand scheme of things, Blokey couldn’t understand quite why it was that I wanted a pussy-cat. However, Tabatha completely won him over, despite her shyness and lack of playfulness (she was old). And so Tabatha begat* Mog and in turn, he begat* Dora after Tabatha passed away.

And then Moggly-Moo did his disappearing act. I thought for a very long time that he would come home. It was many weeks before I stopped calling him and I still look out of the window in the front door and expect to see him waiting patiently under the car, as he was fond of doing. In two days he’ll have been missing (presumed dead, but hopefully still just in Reading) for four months, and I will continue to live in hope that he’ll come flouncing up the road without a care in the world for the next fifteen or so years.

When (if) he does he’s in for a shock, one which takes the form of Moggles, the Second.

There is no mistaking Qyzen for Mog when we use only our eyes. Where Moggles was a very fluffy tabby (of brown/golden and gingerish hues) with the most amazingly bushy tail, tufty ears and HUGE paws (a Norwegian tree frog with a dash of Maine Coon and a hint of American Bobcat, no less), Qyzen (and if you know without Googling where this name comes from, then shame on you, you geeky-nerd gamer person) is black with a white bib and white socks. Because he’s so young (born around May 1st) he’s teeny, but his tail is definitely getting fluffier; we doubt he’ll ever be as big as Moggles who was MASSIVE and would have become MORE MASSIVE because he was only two and a half. We’re waiting for Qyzen’s voice to break; he currently squeaks his meows. Bless.

Personality wise we couldn’t have chosen a Qytten so like Mog. It wasn’t apparent when we first brought him home but as the days have progressed he’s just become Mog in Miniature. If I was an odd person I would think that Mog has been reborn and found his way back to us in Qytten form.

As an aside, even though I’m not an odd person, I do actually like the idea that if Mog did die he IS Qyzen. It’s cute in a sickly-sweet way and it’s the sort of thing that Moggles would do; he had a brilliant sense of humour (for a cat).

Qyzen lounges on the back of the armchair like Mog did. He pesters Dora in only the way Mog ever could. On the first night he spent here he fell asleep between the pillows in exactly the same position Mog did the first time he slept on our bed. He is desperate to chew cables like Mog did (and phew! I can see why the previous owners of Mog couldn’t cope with him; it’s hard and frustrating work – worthy of copious amounts of patience – teaching a Qytten not to do something he so longingly wants to do!) His favourite toys were previously Mog’s favourite toys, even down to the way he carries them around in his mouth, and despite all the new toys we introduced him to. He even picked up on the Bannister Game with no encouragement.

I imagine if Mog were to come home they would hate each other, on account of being too similar.

Oh, he likes bread. Mog didn’t like bread.

*not literally, obviously.

when did you last see your father?

I haven’t seen my Father since the May of 2007. I don’t remember the exact date, but I do remember it was about a month after Blokey’s dad suddenly passed away and it gave me a reason for making an effort and trying to love (or get on with) him.

I did make the effort.

From last week I have chosen to stop making the effort.

If I wanted to define it with a cliché I would express it simply; I woke up and smelt the coffee.

I haven’t had a (loving) relationship with my Father for many (many) years. Oh, I saw him at least once a fortnight from his walking out (I was five and a half) to his moving more than just a few miles down the road (I had just turned ten). At that point he became a man we only saw for a few nights during school holidays, and not even every school holiday.

My memories of my Father are (at best) hazy and sad, a random bunch of nasty, spiteful and bitter things.

A couple of years ago I found out some’Thing’ about my Father which put some of those memories into perspective. This ‘Thing’ explains my seemingly irrational fear of being alone in a house with him as a teenager, it explains why I drew those images on my bookcase as a seven year old and – most importantly – it explains all those disjointed and haphazard one-second snippets of my life which are gradually jigsawing themselves into the fuller picture. But I don’t talk about this. I don’t talk about it with my husband, with my step-sister/s or my brothers. I certainly don’t talk about it with my Mumsy. Why would I want to a) break her heart or b) suffer the humiliation of that look I know will fleetingly cross her face, the look which says, don’t be silly, he’s your dad!

Writing about it here is my way of slowly opening up and it may be all I need. After all, thirty years is a long time to live with memories which my inner-child would rather forget. The conflict which rages inside me is between my subconscious inner-adult and my subconscious inner-child and I can live with the fact that for the most-part they don’t involve me in their bickering; it makes my life easier even if I do have the occasional snippet of memory to put up with.

(I realise this probably makes little sense, but this is my [often neglected] blog and therefore I can write nonsensical stuff if I so wish.)

My Father was a friend of mine on Facebook.

Last week was my birthday. I received cards, presents, text messages, emails, flowers and Fb messages. None of these were from my Father. I knew that he’d been on Fb because he’d left his ridiculously stupid comments on mutual friends statuses. So I wrote a status update to say thanks for all the birthday greetings. This is it:

“Thank you to everyone who’s blessed me with birthday wishes … you are fabulous and lovely people. For those of you who haven’t, shame on you! Particularly YOU … *points*. I’ve been terribly spoilt, because I’m worth it (apparently, sometimes).”

The YOU was half-heartedly aimed at my Father and yes, it was a dig. A mean and nasty (yet humourous and witty) dig at the man who gave me life. Obviously, because we are so very alike, he realised it was meant for him and left the following comment:

“Why does pot,kettle,black spring to mind?”

(Please note that although we are alike in temperament and bitter humour, I do not take after him when it comes to using commas in place of the simple and unique idea of the space-bar.)

Now, he does have a fair point to make. I haven’t sent him a Father’s Day card since Mumsy stopped buying them on our behalf (I was probably still in single digits and sweets are much more appealing than telling a part-time daddy that you love him) and I only send him birthday cards sporadically. I do remember him at Christmas though … I’m not completely heartless.

What hurt more wasn’t the lack of birthday greetings that came my way … it was that he could have been the bigger person and used the opportunity to make a jokey dig back, whilst offering birthday wishes. No, he chose the venomous route revealing himself to the world (or my Fb friendage, anyway) as the mean-spirited and vile man that he is.

I know, I know … I’m an adult, a big girl. I should smile and remain calm, make a jokey comment back, let him know that it’s not a Big Deal. But it is a Big Deal and I’m washing my hands of him (a previous status I wrote involved my Biggest Brother being on the tellybox and me trying to fathom out who he was most like; his Mumsy, his Baby Brother or his littlest son. My Father took offence at this and went on a comment-rampage about how he does have a father too [he also has a sister but as he didn’t remind me of me I didn’t use me as an ‘who is he like?’] and no he wasn’t much like C [my half-brother], who is technically his baby brother being the youngest) and his ridiculous blatherings. He’s had YEARS to become involved with me and my life but he hasn’t. That was his choice, not mine.

He chose to walk out. He chose to slag my Mumsy off to my face when I was nothing but a child. He chose to move further away. He chose to only pay the minimum he could get away with in child maintenance and he chose to stop paying this when each of us turned seventeen, as though we were nothing but a noose around his neck. He chose to secretly take his other-family (step-sisters and half-sibling) on holidays to America and Spain whilst Mumsy had to scrimp and save just to get us into Pontins on the south coast for a week. He chose to be a monster. In our non-relationship he has always been the adult and I have always been the child; all his choices (whether he had to forcibly make them or not) had an impact on me and he should always have been the one who made a bit more effort in recognition of this.

I have chosen to cut him out of my life and it’s the first decision I’ve made regarding my Father which actually makes me happy. I owe him nothing, certainly not a relationship with his only natural daughter.

My Father is not a friend of mine on Facebook any longer.

oh, feck off! (getting it off my chest)

I used to think that I was the most miserable woman in the world. 

And then I met my MiL.

My relationship with her was practically non-existent before my FiL passed away.  After his death we grew closer, but I still find her very difficult and (on some occasions) can barely even tolerate her.  This sounds mean, but it isn’t.  She is a very demanding woman, not least because her days are taken up with … nothing. 

My Mumsy will celebrate 70 grand years on earth next year.  Her social life is amazing.  She’s always off on mini-breaks with her friends, she has church and related prayer-groups, she does voluntary secretarial work twice a week for her minister, toddles off to WI every month, pops into the coffee morning every week, cooks lunch for her friends when she can see they’re a bit overwhelmed with activities, goes for long walks and she makes time to fit all her children into her busy schedule (we range from 50 miles to 1,300 miles away from her).

She never expects people to do anything or be anywhere.

My MiL is the complete opposite.  She’s seven years younger than Mumsy and her social calendar (despite our best intentions and gentle nudges) revolves around seeing my BiL one night a week – and every Saturday when he takes her shopping (that’s a whole post on its own) – and having a visit from her SiL once a week for an hour or so.  Oh, she might go to see the doctor, or buy a paper, or pop into town for some things, but she has no interests and no friends. 

She is also a Scrooge (despite having money running into six figures just sitting in the bank).

Blokey does do a lot for her.  She wanted a new tellybox.  She has our old one (2004) and held out as long as she could because she didn’t want a ‘thin’ one.  Now she has no choice because her tellybox is going a tad iffy.  So Blokey spent some time researching tellyboxes and the best place to buy them, etc.  And last Thursday we took her shopping, with three tellyboxes in mind to view.  We took her to a Foodstuff & Computer Planet store and showed her two of the tellyboxes (they didn’t have the third).  She ummm’d and ahhh’d a little, and wibble-wobbled them (‘they’ll fall down!’).  I could tell from the look on her face that she wasn’t happy. 

Now, we had no intention of buying from Foodstuff & Computer Planet because we knew we could get a better deal at John Smith’s (plus a free five year warranty).  We’d taken her to F & CP because it was out of town with free parking and the intention was then to buy the telly online once she’d seen it in the flesh.  But she decided she wanted to look at the third tellybox so we got in the car and tootled off into town to fight the crowds of Christmas shoppers, get into scraps with other cars and pay extortionate city centre parking fees. 

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Whilst in John Smith’s she spied a tellybox she liked.  It was ugly and pudgy … and CHEAP!  Blokey was looking for another tellybox so he missed the expression of pure delight upon her face as she noticed the price tag.  Oh, it’s not the price, she informed me.  I just think it looks nice.


She then wibble-wobbled some more tellyboxes and when she wibble-wobbled the one that had caused her to nearly orgasm she only tentatively touched it.  Sly old bag!  Really!  It took us a good ten minutes to convince her not to buy it.  I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her, that’s how angry I was with her.  Blokey put lots of effort into researching the perfect telly for her, plus he drove her to see/buy one and he’d sourced a Blu-ray player to go with it.  If it had been my mother I would have had very stern words and walked off. 

It took her another ten minutes to umm and ahh between the other two tellyboxes, with both Blokey and I praising one over the other.  They were exactly the same price but one was a Sony Bravia and the other a Samsung.  The Sony was a Smart tv (‘I really won’t use iPlayer’) and far superior.  She wibble-wobbled them again and opted for the less superior Samsung even though we’d told her she’d be better off with the other.

I think she does it deliberately.

Afterwards we went to Pizza Yummy Yum and when Blokey got out his cash to pay she said, Oh, I was going to pay! but failed to elaborate on this further by leaving her bag safely cocooned in her lap and her fingers tightly clasped together on top of it. If our intentions were to pay we would at least have made an effort to get some money out, but not her.  Oh no.

Fast forward a few days, to yesterday.  We took her to see her other SiL, her niece and nephew and their families (about eighty or so miles away).  I don’t mind doing this.  It’s the one day of the year that she sees them, and besides, I like Blokey’s cousins and they give us Christmas presents to come home with!   

Whilst talking about Christmas decorations she suddenly announced, I’m not putting mine up this year.  I really can’t be bothered.  I don’t feel at all Christmassy.  She said this with the sourest look on her face.  This is the woman who has already excitedly bought and wrapped her presents and has said how much she’s looking forward to spending Christmas Day with us.  Oh, you have to at least put your tree up, I said.  Well, I can’t anyway.  It’s in the loft; I don’t know when BiL will be there to take it down.

And that’s what it boils down to.  She feels hard-done by.  For nearly thirty-five years she had a doting husband who did EVERYTHING for her.  Now she has to rely on two grown-up sons.  One of those sons lives thirty miles away and is (to all intents and purposes) ill.  The other only lives down the road but leads a very busy life with a very busy girlfriend (who is allegedly possessive; she isn’t, she’s just very active and probably wouldn’t mind having a lie-in every Saturday with her boyfriend rather than have him get up at the crack of dawn to take his mother to Tesco.)

This worries me.  The future worries me. Her reliance on other people, her miserableness, the fact that she expects us to take her to Belgium for cigarettes (she doesn’t ask anymore, it’s just a given that we will), her snide comments and her deliberate attempts to ignore any and all advice.  If she’s like this now what does a future with possible job opportunities further afield and the joy of (grand)children bring?  Misery, that’s what. Misery and grumbles.

It all makes me want to scream.

(I realise that once written down this seems trivial; I think you have to be there and know about the tiny little things which build up and up and up and up … But thanks for letting me get it off my chest …)

love, tabatha

(this is what tabatha would have written, if she had thumbs. and knew human sounds. etc.)

Dear Mummy,

I first saw you and Daddy on a beautiful sunny day in the July of 2005. I actually saw Daddy first and meowed at him, desperate for his attention. When you said that you wanted to take me home I was absolutely delighted. I’d been in the shelter for a few weeks and although the people there were lovely, I was craving a place to call ‘home’. I didn’t remember a ‘home’. I think I had one when I was a baby, but all I really remember are streets and loud noises, with men shouting at me and being cruel.

I know you both found me to be really difficult when you first brought me home. I wanted so much to be loved by you, but I was so scared. I didn’t know if this was my forever home, or just a holiday. You were so kind and patient, but the tellybox was so nice to live behind. I could see you, but you couldn’t see me! I liked it behind the settee too, because that way I could see the pictures moving on the tellybox. When you were both out I felt safe, but I started to miss you. When you came back I was so happy!

Your patience and love won me over. I can’t believe that it took me a whole year before I had the courage to sit on your laps! That was an entire year of belly-rubbing and snuggly-ness that I will never get back. And it was another year before I let you pick me up! Why?! Being picked up for a cuddle was the most magical thing in the world. I always let you know how lovely it was with my very noisy purr.

When Daddy went to hospital in 2008 I knew it made you sad, Mummy. I tentatively jumped on the bed to give you comfort, and when you didn’t push me off I knew it was okay. That was when I started snuggling up to you at night. It was heaven.

There were occasions when I was a complete nightmare. The vomiting on the pillow whilst you were sleeping episode, for example. The I can’t make it to the litter tray, I’ll just poo on the rug/jumper/doormat/whatever happens to be on the floor instead episodes. At the cattery another cat tricked me into bringing fleas home … gosh, that didn’t make you as happy as I thought it would. I loved the grass in the back garden; it was the best toilet in the whole wide world!

But Mummy, you made me so happy. Okay, so I didn’t like going in the basket and visiting the nasty man with the needles. And having other people in the house made me nervous (although wasn’t it fabulous the day I finally sat on your Mumsy’s lap?) And yes, I tended to ignore you for a day or so after having to stay in the cattery. But you did make me happy.

And then you suddenly decided I needed a baby brother. Mog!


I know I surprised you by being so mean to him at first, and it did take longer for me to get used to him that you expected, but I was so used to you and Daddy being ‘mine’ that I didn’t want to share you with a ball of fluff who was bigger than me! But I did secretly love showing him who was boss. I think he got the message, didn’t he? And to be honest, it was quite nice being able to assert some authority and not being bottom of the pack … *purrs loudly with delight* When he jumped on the bed on Wednesday morning and snuggled his head against mine it made me happy. It happened in the blink of an eye, but it was special, as though he forgave me for not playing with him, and for hissing at him.

Thank you for loving me and for not giving up on me. And thank you too for the treats, the milky, the decking, the lawn, the big comfy bed, the dirty pond water, the laps, the radiators, the food on demand, the belly-rubbing, the chin-tickling, the conversations you had with me and the attention you gave me.

But mostly, thank you for being with me on Wednesday, for cuddling me and staying with me till the very end. I went quickly, Mummy. I knew it would break your heart if I tried to fight the man with the needle, and it was time for me to go anyway. Don’t cry Mummy; I’ll always be with you, on your pillow or getting in the way of your computer monitor. Love you all (yes, even Moggly-Moo!) …

Be happy,

Love, Tabatha (aka Tabz, Smelly-Bum) x

(Unknown – 30 March 2011, aged about twelve, possibly older)

go away, please

I wouldn’t normally, but I really do need to get this off my (ample) chest.

(you might want to put your fingers in your ears because I’m going to shout this VERY loudly)


(fingers may be removed from earholes; shouting is done)

I haven’t seen my Father since the May of 2007. I don’t particularly want to see my Father because I have very little to say to him which doesn’t revolve around family history (he has found a branch which doesn’t exist, the fool) and how completely doolally my nana was.

I don’t actually know my Father. I certainly can’t claim to love him. In fact I think that since the age of five I’ve felt every emotion for him except love, from pity to hate.

My memories of him are decidedly negative. I can remember not wanting to go to school because he was arguing with Mumsy on the phone and she was crying. I have a vague recollection of him standing at the front door, arguing with Mumsy. He made me go to stay with him when I didn’t want to, and Mumsy tried to tell him that I didn’t want to. I remember him slagging my wonderful Mumsy off constantly and I remember hating him for that but being unable to say anything because I was only a tiddler. He tried to make me call my step-mum ‘mummy’ and that broke my own Mummy’s heart. My step-sisters called him ‘dad’ and he took them on family holiday’s to Spain and America, but didn’t tell us. He grumbled about paying maintenance and paid a pittance for the four of us, which decreased each time one of us turned seventeen and the courts didn’t make him pay anymore.

I can remember being fifteen and him phoning and saying he was in the area and was going to pop in to see me with my little half-brother. I remember being scared of him and desperately not wanting to be alone with him. That was the last time I saw him for six years.

I don’t actually like him. It’s a terrible thing to say about your own Father, but I truly don’t.

But he has a FB account. And he asked me to be his friend (this was a couple of years ago.) I accepted, knowing that he wouldn’t be on it much, and he wasn’t. But for the last month he seems to have been on constantly and it’s really upsetting me. He writes silly comments on status updates and walls, in an attempt to be funny and I just read them and scream inside.

I don’t want him in my life anymore. I can’t stand it. But I can’t de-friend him because there’s a part of me which thinks it would cause problems, but the problems I think it will cause, it probably won’t. It will probably be other problems.

So, I shall fester in a world of my own making, not wanting to hurt anyone else, but allowing myself to be hurt because that’s just the kind of idiot I am.

tabatha, meet mog

Dear Mummy’s Blog,

There is another cat in the house.  I think it’s a boy; it definitely smells like one!  Poo-ey!  Mummy keeps saying silly things in an effort to get me to stop hissing at him.

Isn’t he pretty? and, Don’t you want to be his friend? and, Look at how submissive he’s being

I don’t care, Mummy’s Blog!  I just want Mummy and Daddy to myself.  I might choose to tolerate him one day, but I’m not promising anything.  He’s very young and very big and very annoying.  I didn’t ask for an annoying teenage brother so why did they bring him home?

*petulant sigh*

Love, Tabatha-Cat x

Dear Person Who Now Feeds Me Blog,

Tabatha hisses at me.  I don’t like it.  Oooh, there’s a ball of tin foil …

Love, Mog x

Things I want to say to you (strong language, sorry)

Dearest MiL,

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.  How dare you treat us so horridly when we’re doing you a favour by taking you to Belgium to buy your ghastly stinky fags.  How petty of you to stomp off like a hormonal whiney teenager when we remind you (nicely!) that smoking in the car is a no-no.  How ridiculous it is to make nasty sarcastic comments over something trivial said by Blokey over, and about, breakfast.

For goodness sake woman!  Sometimes you’re like a vile poisonous wart in an uncomfortable place. 

I’m sorry [I’m not] but I will not have you hurting my husband in the way that you do.  You are a manipulative, wrinkled old bag, who never thinks of anyone but herself.  Why on earth he chooses to put up with your bitterness I really don’t know, but if you were my mother [I’m very glad that you’re not] I would never let you get away with being so evil.

His illness is purely a personal vendetta against you, isn’t it?  Be honest now.  He chooses to be ill as a means of making life awkward for you.  And oh my gosh, doesn’t his wife milk it!  Tsk.  But MiL, he *IS* ill.  He is exhausted, stressed, sad, emotional, wary and (quite frankly) pissed off.  His weekends are more valuable to him than you will ever realise.  He needs those days to re-energise in time for the next relentlessly unforgiving week of full-time work and dialysis sessions and random hospital appointments that simply confuse and upset him.  Driving the three of you to Heathrow [when did he even offer; why do you assume so much?] will take approximately seven hours in total (from FlatHickTown to MiLTown, then on to Heathrow, and then back again).  That’s a whole day.  A whole day of stress and tiredness, when he needs to be relaxing. 

How many thousands do you have in the bank?  Don’t be such a fucking tightwad … taking out a bit of cash to spend on a taxi will not bankrupt you.  If it makes you feel better, take it out of his bloody inheritance. 

This is all so new for him [and for me] and yet where are your words of support and your cuddles of love?  Hmmm?  Your husband would be appalled at your behaviour.  Seriously, he would.  If you carry on being so bitter and so venomous you will start to push Blokey away.  None of us want that [although yesterday when he said, “I wish she was bloody well staying in Australia,” I think he actually meant it], but it will happen if you continue to be like this.

Oh, and one final point.  You can be as horrid to me as you want.  You can ignore me, refuse to even look at me and [quite probably] bitch about me to BiL and GiL for absolutely nothing [seriously, just before bed she was lovely, in the morning it was as though I didn’t exist!] but one day I will be the mother of your much-wanted grandchildren, and when I am I will hold ALL the cards.  Yes indeedy.  I can play your game.  And, scarily, I can play it better than you. 

I wish you an enjoyable holiday in Australia, and hope it is an experience filled with spiders, snakes and Swine Flu. 


(One day I will write a happy post, honest! In the meantime, thanks for letting me grumble!)

How difficult is it to use a plate?

I was enjoying a meeting at work on my day off (short story, but needs no explanation) the week before last when our site manager popped his head round the door and played that game which involves mouthing, pointing and the recepient (in this case me) looking wildly around to see who is being mouthed to. The Blokey was waiting for me in reception with a sad look on his face.

“I have to go to the Big Hospital in maC; there’s a bed waiting for me.”

Oh, sucks.

He’d had a regular clinic appointment the previous day and the blood results had come back showing that his creatinine levels (nope, I have no idea what that is either) had sky-rocketed.

“We’ll take you off the Warfarin and give you a biopsy,” proclaimed one doctor. “We’ll leave you on the Warfarin and not give you a biopsy,” proclaimed another ten minutes later.

They took him off the Warfarin so that they could give him a biopsy on his kidley-widdly, which he had on Monday. On Tuesday they inserted a line into his chest so that he can have temporary dialysis, and on Tuesday night he had his first dialysis session.

Whoa! Slow down!

It may not (*fingers and other things crossed*) be as bad as was originally expected. The biopsy revealed four things wrong with his kidley-widdlies, all of which they think they can sort out. One of the things wrong was an allergic reaction to a pill he’s been on since last September, which causes kidley-widdly damage in one in five hundred people who take it.

(Sue! Sue!)

They also found that although the nerve endings were dying, his kidley-widdlies are trying to repair themselves. Hopefully the dialysis will be a temporary measure, until his kidley-widdlies decide to play ball and get to a point where they can take care of themselves. We’re hoping that it’s as temporary as temporary can be because for three nights a week I won’t see him. He’ll go straight from work to the the Big Hospital in maC (thirty miles from home – although our more local hospital does have a dialysis unit, it doesn’t do twilight sessions and he can’t afford to take lots of time off work because they’ve just made twenty folk redundant) and should arrive home at eleven-ish, by which time I’ll be enjoying a visit to the Land of Nod.

Still, if it makes him better then all is good, yes? He’s had three dialysis sessions so far and he does seem to have more energy and is acting a little perkier. It’s nice, even if cuddling up is difficult because of the bloody tubes sticking out of his chest. Oh, and his legs are getting hairier because of the steroids he’s back on. Tsk.

He was in hospital for just eight days this time. And I think my OCD tendancies get worse with each hospital visit. Don’t get me wrong, I love him being home … but when I got in from work on Friday there were crumbs all over the kitchen. This made me snarl foul things about the man I love. Just how difficult is it to use a plate?! And on the subject of difficulty, how difficult is it to make the bed? Or plump up the cushions? Or put the newspapers into the recycling box? Or just use one glass instead of piling them up?

I really must a) teach him how to do these things and b) learn not to let it get to me so much (a home is for living in after all) …

I’m desperate to mow the lawn, but think it might be a tad too early.

Never rely on the glory of the morning, nor the smiles of your mother-in-law

Australia.  Land of Kangaroo.  We’d made plans to visit this summer, despite it being a country that can only really be accessed by horrid planes.  MiLs cousin, who was more like her big sister when they were growing up, lives over there.  ‘Let’s go!’ we said.  MiL agreed. 

Except Things Went Bad last year and now the risk of a flight to the wrong side of the world is too great.  The Blokey is still having regular appointments at both the big training hospital in maC and the little hospital in ChavTown and would need to take a suitcase full of medication if we went over there.  He was ill when we went to Cardiff.  I would probably worry myself to death if he got ill in Australia.

‘You go!’ we said to MiL at Christmas.  She was hesitant, but it was only fair that we didn’t spoil her and her cousin’s dreams.  Obviously she isn’t going alone.  BiL and his girlfriend are going too. 

And thus begins my stinkingly childish whinge.

I do not want to listen to endless talk of Australia.  We are not going … the least they can do is remember that.  They could also attempt to actually do all the groundwork themselves rather than rely on The Blokey, who seems to have to constantly coax his brother into looking for flights and stop-overs.  We are not going … do it yourbloodyself.

‘We’re [MiL and GiL] thinking of spending a couple of nights in New York on the way back,’ gushed MiL.  Sorry, wasn’t that my idea?  My dream?  Did I, or did I not, say to you, ‘Let’s go to New York on the way back!”?

I suppose what’s really crushing me is the way MiL has been able to drop me, like a kid in a playground who suddenly finds a new best friend.  In this case the new best friend is GiL.  GiL has a car.  GiL only lives a few miles away.  GiL has said this.  GiL has said that.  GiL is perfect.  GiL is amazing.  And let’s not forget, GiL has a car. 

I’m not blaming GiL.  I actually quite like her, even though I tend to usually shy away from those people who have excessive personalities.  She watches naff tellybox shows about celebrities dancing on ice, or singing for their supper, or something.  MiL watches them too.  Oh, how they laugh.  They watched Mamma Mia! together and had a thoroughly good time.  They had such a good time that when MiL received tickets to see Oliver! in the West End she promptly invited GiL to go with her. 

Oliver! is my third favourite musical, ever.  MiL doesn’t know this. 

I was with her when her husband died.  I was the perfect DiL, being responsible and taking charge of various things.  I gave up every Saturday for over a year for her.  I was nearly widowed last year.  I spent a month (in total, spread over two occasions) visiting my husband in hospital and she barely even bothered to phone me and find out how I was.  I can’t go to Australia.  Or America.  Or Singapore.

(The Blokey said that if I was that upset I could go, but what wife leaves her husband at home for a month, knowing that a) he doesn’t know how to use a washing machine and b) he might get ill again?  Besides, it wouldn’t be much of an experience without him.)

Would it have hurt her to invite me to go to London to see the show?

We’re taking her to CigaretteTown in Belgium this weekend.  I swear, if she mentions Australia or Oliver! I will go mad. 

On a far happier note … we realised that we haven’t really been on holiday for yonks.  We went to Amsterdam for our honeymoon in 2006, but apart from MiLs caravan and a couple of gig weekends, we haven’t had a real holiday since we went to Austria in 2004.  So we booked one for mid-August.  It may be a bit closer to home than Australia (it’s Yorkshire), but we have a private lodge with a jacuzzi, a sauna, a hot tub, breathtaking views and tranquility.  Perfick. 

Much more fun than having to entertain two old women in Australia! 

(whinge over)


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