Monday, 8 August 2005


Testing time at home over the weekend. Went out for a rare beer with Jacqueline on Friday night, leaving my mum to look after Alice. We ended up quite a way away at the Bell in Brook, which was quite nice. Must go there for a meal at some point. Anyway, I was told about the events of the day.

Jacqueline and my mum had been over to Southampton once more, where my mother had a senile moment and lost one of her shopping bags, left in the John Lewis cafe. Jacqueline wouldn't have minded so much except that my mother had insisted on paying for some stuff for Alice, which was also in the bag. So my mother's loss put her to an inconvenience also. She says she really lost patience when my mum started crying. Fair enough I suppose, I know from experience that it is not unknown for my mother to turn on the waterworks in order to get the "sympathy vote".

Saturday, we went over to Castle Point after a lazy morning. A big Sainsbury's shop, plus a general walk around. Alice has had a growing spurt lately so visited H&M, always good value for kids' clothes. Also, we saw some lovely, glittery party shoes in Next, which will be ideal for the wedding we're going to in a few weeks.

Whilst we were in Next, Alice fell in love with a pair of nice-looking boots. There was no way I was going to buy them for her, given that they are full-on Winter boots, we're in the middle of August, and they cost £33, but I said that if she wanted to use her birthday money she was welcome to get them herself. I was very surprised when she readily agreed. I think she wore them for the whole weekend afterwards...

After from the Sainsbury's shop, we went home since Jacqueline wasn't feeling 100%. However, we did bring back a load of picnic stuff for Sunday.

The next day, however, hopes for a picnic were dashed. As soon as we got to discussing where to go, Alice decided upon a particular place in the forest, close to a river where she could paddle. Jacqueline basically wanted to go anywhere but this place. They bickered like this for some time - my mother taking refuge in the garden - until I finally said, "I hate this. I'm going to do some gardening and will see you at suppertime.". And off I went. Not long after this, Jacqueline and Alice went out together, to have their picnic. They didn't even invite my mother. Very unimpressed.

Anyway, I did a couple of hours gardening (we now have a load of garden waste about the volume of a car in the driveway!) and clearing, by which time I was hot and ready for some refreshment. So, I took my mother over to Burley for afternoon tea. Lovely.

On vaguely speaking terms with everybody since, but I am not particularly happy. Fortunately my mother is flying home tomorrow, which should ease the situation. I think basically that 12 days is too long for her to stay in a house the size of ours.

Plus, Jacqueline and Alice are going over to Jacqueline's mum's next weekend which means I will have some peace and some time to myself.

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