The weather wasn’t too bad today, if cold, so in addition to walking down to the local shop to buy a newspaper, meeting all the village’s dog-owners, it seemed, I spent some time in the garden, trying to gather up all the fallen apples and attempting to tame the blackberries. The buddleia that has been threatening to outgrow the entire garden was also tackled with secateurs in a brutal fashion, after which I phoned the number advertised on a flyer for green wood for the village bonfire. Someone will come and pick it up next weekend, so although I’ve put the smaller bits and the bruised apples and brambles into the brown ‘garden waste’ bin, the rest will also be useful.
There was more grand prix on the TV, so the OH kindly offered to prepare lunch while I was in the garden, with the TV on in the background. He wanted to try out some slow-cooked lamb recipe, so even as I started on the chaos in the back garden, I could hear the not very dulcet tones of cars speeding round a race-track. At least that’s the right place for speeding.
A quiet day, generally, then, although Celeste phoned in the afternoon.
“Don’t you want to be my friend?” she demanded as soon as the phone was handed to me.
“On Facebook? You haven’t sent me a friend request!” She seemed genuinely aggrieved by my failure.
“I didn’t think you’d want to be friends with your mother,” I replied, hoping that this spontaneous excuse would hold water. It didn’t.
“Half the point of being friends on Facebook is that you can see what I’m up to and I don’t have to keep going through inane conversations with you! I’ve sent you a request – you need to log on and accept it, because otherwise it’ll be really embarrassing.”
I suggested she speak to her father while I logged on and accepted her request, and then looked at her profile page. Looking at her photo, I couldn’t quite understand why she had wanted me to see it. I grabbed the phone from the OH.
“Bottle blonde? And a nose-piercing? What on earth are you doing to yourself up there?” I was practically screeching but I hadn’t spent nine months and then a further eighteen years cosseting my darling and keeping her from harm just for her to inflict wounds on herself deliberately. The blonde just looked... well, unnatural.
“Do you like it? I fancied a change. Only problem is, the roots are already beginning to show, so I’ll probably dye it a different colour soon. I was thinking bright pink.”
I could see that this conversation wasn’t going to go well so I handed the phone back to her father and poured myself a large glass of vodka and then splashed some orange juice into it, to pretend it was healthy.
After the phone call, we debated cutting her off financially – well, I suggested it and the OH rejected it, but after I’d calmed down and the vodka had taken effect (that may be the other way around), I sat down to watch some TV and Hedonism decided that my lap looked an extremely accommodating location. “Just as well you can’t go and get bits of you pierced,” I told him. “Just keep away from the bleach.”