My dad has gone away.
This is a rare occurrence, he's as attached to his tweed arm chair and over head projector slides as Husband is to his balls (due to be removed soon har har). He's gone to a potato convention. That's right, a potato convention. He found the advert in the back of a seed catalogue and hasn't been so excited about anything since Barry from next door entered a dodgy cauliflower in the Best Cauliflower competition:
He hasn't got a chance the silly bugger, he strained to me from the corner of his mouth, breathing heavily in an attempt to supress his excitement,
the fool's deluded, I mean, look at it, it's almost as bad as his tomatoes. The silly buggery fool. You get the gist.
Anyway, Dad being away means Trouble (you note the capital T), because My Mother loses all focus, actually she loses every bit of focus she has: My Dad. No focus means a whirling dervish with nothing to whirl around. Who if not my dad will listen to the tirades about Shirley-The-Competition and her latest attempts to out wit My Mother in the Church league? Who tastes the sauces and exclaims with practised ease delicious dear, I don't know how you do it. Who acknowledges the hourly missives regarding paired socks (pin each pair together before washing to prevent loss), eating over cooked cheese (worse than death apparently, I have a feeling she's got a shock coming one of these days), saving empty butter wrap in the fridge for no apparent reason at all, hand washing clothes and then putting them in the washing machine (it's not thorough enough) and wiping the dog's bottom because he's practically human? My dad, that's who, I have a lot to thank him for.
But not this week because he's gone to this bloody potato convention. He set off with several examples of the potatoes he grows wrapped in bubble wrap and placed delicately in a briefcase. He looked like MI5 were developing a top secret potato based listening device and he had been bestowed the honour of providing Just The Right Potato. He even took his own spade because you can't buy them like this nowadays, i.e. with a long handle and a square spade on the end.
Anyway, where was I? Aha, yes, My Mother, I remember now because she's standing behind me, fiddling for her glasses and squinting at the screen. I haven't seen her, but I can feel the criticism cloud building as I type. Best type fast then.
As you have probably guessed, the whirling dervish has landed squarely on my doorstep. Approximately 32 minutes after my dad left for the station, My Mother let herself in to my house with a key that I have never given her (How? How? How did she do it?).
Hello Darling she trilled excitedly as she surveyed all the criticism potential hovering in the hallway, it looks like I've come just in time, pass me a duster would you and we're definitely going to need some bleach for the light shades.
She's here. To stay. And won't go away until my dad comes home which is in forty eight hours (2880 minutes/172800 seconds). She's washed all the curtains (full of bacteria), swept the ceilings (a hive of bacteria), bathed the dog (a bacteria factory), scrubbed the bath down (full of dog bacteria) and cleaned out the cheese tray (cheese is mouldy and therefore bacteria filled).
Last night I woke up to find her cleaning out under my eyelids with a toothpick before giving Husband a quick go down with the disinfectant.
Ok, so I can cope with a clean house, and I am nicely pleased with my clean Husband, but she has got to go. I'm going to get the Potato Convention to page my dad and say I've spotted blight. On his potatoes. Give me two minutes.