Nov 29, 2019: Mother

Carole’s taken my mum to Chatsworth today – on their annual pilgrimage to look at the festive décor in the house and bimble round a Christmas market until mum gets particularly arsey – so about five minutes in – and tells someone to go away in short, sharp jerky movements because they tried to walk past her and she didn’t see them because she’s blind on one side.

In short, she’s probably having a long day.

And tomorrow – because they’re being clever and staying over to avoid a night time drive through chuff knows where (they still talk about the time that the sat nav directed them back through some treacherous unlit backroads way in snowy weather) they’re off to Hardwick Hall to mutter, mumble and swear at people again.

I, meanwhile, am here.

Doing as I am told.

Which was to order some stamps as part of our shopping order so that we may post mum’s Christmas cards.

We need 14 second class stamps. Which is awkward before we even get going because they only come in books of twelve.

And secondly… how much?

I had to check – three times – that I was only looking at 12 stamps when I saw the price. Holy moly. It’s no wonder no-one sends anything by post anymore, it’s bloody extortionate. I dread to think what the price of a first class stamp is. I’d definitely have to make sure I was sitting down, I think, before I bought one, anyway.

And how are we to recoup these funds from mother anyway. I’m currently having a battle with her online banking to get her little security device up and running. It’s a simple process, sure, if you can remember where the sheet of 1001 passwords and associated codes is – a copy of which was provided to everyone prior to my dad passing away, and which – in hindsight – should have been a bit of a clue that something more than we thought was up, but hey ho.

But I can’t find mine. And my sister thought she knew where hers was, but it turns out it’s actually an envelope with all of her cats’ microchip stuff in. So we’re none the wiser. The only other copy is with my mum who, until last night, was unaware she even had a copy, let alone where it is. I have a rough idea where it might be. Maybe.

And yes, we could tell the system that we can’t remember the codes and reset everything. But that involves a call to the bank. And my mother is a terror on those as well. So no-one wants to go through that, least of all me.

But equally, we do need her online banking because she can’t write cheques that won’t be rejected at every turn, and the thought of her dealing with everything in cash just fills me with fear because she gets muddled up and has sixteen different bags, pouches and hidden pockets for monies of different denominations.

Still, at least I’m only trying to come to terms with the crippling financial cost of sending her Christmas cards and not sharing a hotel room with her in Chesterfield…