Finally, it had to happen. The Mothership rings up, aggrieved.
MOTHER: It’s me here. I don’t know why I even go near your blog. It only annoys me. (Note the lack of preamble, barely even a “Hello, how are you?”)
ME: Ach, sure it was just a bit of fun.
MOTHER: I am by now, used to the ridicule, and you putting this notion about that I always ‘do you down’. However, I do not like being made out to be stupid. In front of people too.
ME: Is this about the cold air?
MOTHER: Exactly. Now if you would just amend what you wrote. You know perfectly well, that when one is cold, one is susceptible to colds and flu, because the immune system may be compromised. And that is when these viruses settle in.
ME: Indeed. (As if to prove her point, LSB starts coughing up a lung in the background. He’s been running the legs off himself as usual. He may even have dipped his feet in the wintery chill of the Atlantic on a running club excursion to do Portrush parkrun. I hastily move until he is out of earshot.)
MOTHER: I mean, some people wouldn’t have it.
ME: Have what, a virus?
MOTHER: NO, their child vilifying them on the internet. I’m telling you, I don’t think ANY of my friends would stand it. If their children were to dole out the abuse you give me, I think they would write them out of the will.
ME: But that would show a meanness of spirit and demonstrate that they had no sense of humour, not like you at all.
MOTHER: ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.’ (Mother tends to go a bit grandiose and quote Shakespeare or the odd Biblical verse when wronged.)
ME: Quite. I have a bit of work to do so I may head on.
MOTHER: Now when do you need us up to mind those children?
And that people, is the joyful thing about my mum and dad. They love to give off and take umbrage, but are always on-hand to scrub my hob and clean my microwave, while entertaining my children.
The Wise Old Elf, I am happy to report, has recovered from his lurgy and has resumed his busy timetable of events, bar perhaps the tennis and the yoga. He has almost returned to his former self, which is just as well as the work I undertake in January has come in and the floors haven’t been vacuumed for a while. I’m sure that counts as the ‘gentle exercise’ he is supposed to undertake….