"I've just checked and my car tax has expired."
Typically, Mum sounds thrilled at the drama. Meanwhile, my heart plummets.
"Really, Mum? I usually remind you in advance, so I'm not sure it's due for renewal."
I check my organiser and there's nothing for Mum's tax disc anywhere. Oh no! This is my fault! I panic.
"Yes, the date on it is the 7th August," she says.
I groan, because I know that it will take DAYS for me to organise Mum to find her M.O.T. and Insurance information, with her reading every random scrap of paper in her flat out to me over the phone because she cannot discriminate between any random letter and the relevant documents. This is going to be agony.
"I'll go out and check again," she volunteers.
"Okay," I answer, playing for time.
While I wait, I remember that the renewal date is held on my "MUM" spreadsheet. I open this to find that she has the same renewal date as me (the last day of August). She shouldn't be out of date at all.
Mum rings again.
"Yes, it's the 7th of August alright. It says 31.08.07"
It seems that Mum's dates have gone the way of money and all the other things she has lost the ability to judge.