I call Mum to relate an email I've received from my Brother-In-Law about his imminent visit. I can sense Mum's attempt to hide her panic on the other end of the phone, so I'm careful to remind her that he will not reach her until Friday, and that he and his daughters will not be staying with her but in a hotel and merely visiting her.
I also tell her that my cold is still pretty bad and my throat is sore.
"Oh dear, you've had that cold for AGES, haven't you?"
"No Mum, it began yesterday, I told you I was coming down with it yesterday."
"So when are you coming down?"
I've come to a theory about Mum's memory problems. I believe she copes by responding to clues in the sentences spoken to her. Thus because I said that my cold was STILL bad, Mum ventured that I'd had it for ages. Because I used the expression "coming down" with regard to the cold, Mum's attention flicked to asking when I was coming to visit her.
"Mum, I've told you several times when I'm coming down. There's no point in me telling you again, as you'll only get confused. Why don't you focus on your next visitors [B-In-Law and girls]?"
I get her to write down that they are visiting on Friday, as she has already forgotten. We end the call.
A couple of minutes later, the phone rings. Mum has an amused tone she uses only when she is trying to show how competent she still is.
"I just thought I'd say that you'd better be careful when you arrive tomorrow, as [the dog] will be all over you!"
"Mum, I'm not coming down tomorrow."
"Oh.... well the day after, then."
ADDENDUM: I had a further call in the afternoon where Mum announced that she'd bought some food ready for my arrival tomorrow...