Thursday 12 October 2006

nobody's birthday 2

The phone rings.
"Morning. Listen, I haven't got long because my Chiropodist is coming, but I wanted to tell you that I've got a card for you. I'm sorry I didn't get it off on time, but it's a nice card."
"Mum, there's no rush. There are about 20 days 'til my Birthday."
[sounds of consternation]
"Mum, do you know what date it is?"
"Now listen, I haven't got time for this. I've got to concentrate on my feet now"
"Your Chiropodist hasn't come yet, Mum. What date is it?"
"It's the 11th October"
"Close Mum. That was yesterday. Now we had this conversation yesterday..."
"Please leave me alone, after all it IS my Birthday!"
"No it ISN'T!"

etc etc

I can't believe it! Two days on the trot! Then she started insisting that she had £3000 in her current account, which cannot be. I had to force her to go to the bedroom and read her statement out to me. Triumphantly, she read out, "CASH ISA £3000" as if that meant "Current Account"....

It was today I thought about starting this blog.

about 10 minutes later...

Ring Ring
"I've got a parcel here from amazon. I suppose that's from your brother-in-law?"
"Could be"
"Okay, well, I'll open that later"
"Okay, I'll open it tomorrow then."
"NO, tomorrow isn't your birthday.... Look Mum, why don't you wait for ME to tell YOU when it is your birthday?"
"Alright then"

Wednesday 11 October 2006

nobody's birthday

First thing in the morning, my phone rings.
"Happy Birthday!". I take a moment to just let that settle on me.

"Mum, it's not my Birthday today. My Birthday is on the 1st of November".
" what day is it today?"
"It's the 11th of October today, Mum."
"The 11th of October"
"We've not even had YOUR Birthday yet, Mum."
"Well, I've got your card today, it says 'Not to be opened until the 14th October' on it."
"Mum, that's not from me. I haven't sent your card yet"
"Well, who COULD it be from, then?"

I'm not sure why the above has upset me particularly more than the usual stuff. Perhaps, because my Birthday is personal to me, I've taken it personally?

It used to be evenings when Mum lost her edge.

Sunday 8 October 2006

paying for company

Mum rang this afternoon to tell me that she was buying herself a new microwave. Apparently the "old" one had just stopped working. She got pretty shirty when I suggested that she ask the Warden try replacing the fuse first, and it became obvious that she just wanted to BUY something. As the conversation progressed it turned out that she'd already called her preferred store in the nearby town who "are very good" and that the new one would cost around £40. I asked about delivery, but she insisted that delivery and installation were free. I pointed out that if she had rung me first, I could have given her several options on-line and arranged delivery for less, but she stuck to her guns, eventually admitting that she'd already agreed to buy and arranged delivery for Monday. I rang the shop she'd used, which turned out to have a delivery charge AND a charge for taking away the old equipment, which means that she'll be paying £65 in all. Needless to say, she wasn't very happy that I'd checked up on her. This shop has done pretty well out of her, too. This is the same place she bought her new fridge from earlier this year, despite the faulty one being under a guarantee which would have seen it replaced free of charge! A guarantee which she was still making payments on when I got down there this summer...

Mum just wants social contact, and if it means paying someone for that little bit of interaction, so be it. You can hear the excitement in her voice - it's been the same since Dad died and she started having pointless work done on the old house. She just needs company, and she'll happily pay for it. And I'm the bad guy for trying to look out for her and save her money.

Sunday 1 October 2006


Mum rang me with a note of outrage and terror in her voice to announce that she had just received a package from a catalogue firm and that she HAD NOT ORDERED ANYTHING from them! She felt they were persecuting her by sending things she hadn't ordered. I asked her to open the package while she was on the phone, and it turned out to be a blouse that she suddenly remembered that she'd ordered 2 days ago....Later in the day, I reminded her of this to show her how unreliable her memory is - she didn't believe me and it didn't go down well...