“Ah, he's here... Hello, Greg?”
The call comes around 4:30pm while I'm at work. Mum sounds bright and urgent. I can hear activity in the background.
“Hi Mum. What can I do for you?”
“I’m in the office here and I wanted to talk to you about this….er..... So…. I’ll call you later.”
“Mum… I don’t understand… You’re calling me now to tell me that you’ll call me later?”
“Is there anything wrong? We can talk now. What did you want to tell me?”
“Well it’s about the money… this money… this 5… er…. To pay for one room here.”
Mum's clutching at straws. She’s desperate to make sense to prove to me that she’s competent, but everything she says betrays her. Behind this conversation, I suspect, is the loss/theft of the five £20 notes I left in her purse 3 weeks ago. At the weekend, we had several discussions about this, where I explained how all her pension was now going towards paying for her stay in the Home.
“Well, so I’m in the office now…”
“Is Christine (the Manager) there?”
“I don’t know… [shouts]… is there a Christine here?…. No…”
I hear a plate go into a washing-up bowl.
“Where are you, Mum?”
“In the OFFICE… I told you! You know… where we have the television and the sofas and they cook things for us in a kitchen.”
“Yes, the Lounge.”
I first noticed Mum’s word-substitutions at Christmas. They're cropping up more and more frequently.