I’m 49. I’m 8. I’m 20. (http://nofucksgivenguides.com/!)

Mother’s coming. For a visit. Don’t think she imposed herself upon me; far from it. I invited her via a text yesterday, suggesting she and dad pop over for a mid-morning coffee as it’s been over two weeks since I last saw them. They live eight miles away and since she came home from hospital, I’ve tried to go over weekly, but it’s getting harder because I am frantic with the day job, and you’ve noticed I’ve made sure recently that I’ve continued my literary enjoyment/research. That, after all, is me doing me and Sarah Knight would be so proud!

In theory, with her new diabetes-control mechanics in place, mother should take a sausage roll as opposed to a jam doughnut. But we’ll see, won’t we? I’ll add a PS at the bottom here after they’ve departed 🤣 … oooh dear, is that like setting a trap? Am I verging on the edges of Entrapment? (Only if you’re planning on using the evidence against her). It’s her life, her choices. I’m merely observing.

My eight year old self is busy tidying the kitchen, washing the garden table surface, placing the ashtray on it for her inevitable use when she ventures outside for her cigarettes. Why am I doing this? An eternal need to please her? Guilt because I don’t generally have time for housework and yet I hate her peering into rooms and watching the disproval spread across her face? I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does.

She has not driven a car since her fall on 20 May. This is a woman who drove somewhere, anywhere, every day of her life ‘or I get cabin fever’. Well, dad (76) has given up his part time job to … look after her. That’s what he calls it. He buys her 40 a day. He drives her where she so desires. He feigns an amused ‘I give up’ expression when she eats something she shouldn’t. He hovers while she takes her blood sugar tests before injecting. Last I heard the readings were all between 8 and 14 (better than the 57 she had on her deathbed six weeks ago 😱).

Is he complaint to a bully? Or is he genuinely spending each day happily as he would choose to, ensuring her happiness is met as he so nearly lost her? I can only imagine what it must be like to have been married to the same person for over fifty years. We’ve done half of that. To date!

I see no old classic car being done up which he spent his entire working life declaring he was excited to start, I see no golf or snooker club being attended (in fact he did join a village snooker club once and after a few weeks, mother quietly announced across the table one day “Your father’s left. The members were common, dreadful people.”)

He used to walk their golden retriever on a nearby heath and meet up with two other local husbands who walked dogs. The three of them sat on the same bench and chewed the fat. Man of the Woods and I thought this was cute, a nice break for him from the house after he retired.

One of them made the fatal mistake of calling at the house one day to see if dad was in. Mother answered and didn’t like the look of the beer belly and flat cap.

The next time MoW and I visited, she told us (again, quietly and out of dad’s earshot) “Well, that Colin, he started coming to the house would you believe? I’ve put a stop to that and even started walking the dog. They’ll soon learn they can’t manipulate your father. I’m not having my business all over the heath.”

Just popped some mascara on so she doesn’t claim I look ‘tired’ (which I may be) yet inside I feel like I’m still twenty and can take on the world 😂🙄

oooh, look at the time – they’ll be here soon!