To start with, I had a better night’s sleep last night – still not what I would call good, but a damn sight better than I have been sleeping of late. And as a result, I am feeling distinctly more human this morning – a 4/10 physically and 5/10 emotionally.
No 2 son has just headed off for his second year of University – N has driven him over to Edinburgh, and when he gets back, we have the joy of doing the supermarket shop ahead of us – but I have made out the menu and the list, so that is a chunk of the job done.
I am feeling rather cross with my mum at the moment. I rang her for a chat last night, and during the course of the conversation, No3 son’s smoking came up, and I reminded her of when she and dad gave me my first cigarette – and said something about how it was such an uncool thing to do, and was clearly a cunning plan to put me off smoking for good – and she said something along the lines of it not having worked, because I took up smoking when I was doing my nurse training – which is a load of utter bollocks – that cigarette was the last one I have ever smoked. And when I said I’d never smoked, she said, “I’ll believe you…” – in tones of extreme disbelief – and that is what really pissed me off. For a start-off, I used to go home fairly often whilst I was training, so surely, if I had been smoking then, I would have smoked at home, but I wasn’t smoking, so never smoked at home – how did she not notice this? And then to basically imply I was lying when I said I’d never smoked – that is beyond the pale.
Then there was a little dig later on about daughters who don’t do enough for their parents once they are married. I was talking about my MIL and how, if necessary, I would go and care for her so she could stay at home in her last days, and how lucky I have been to have such a lovely MIL. We got onto how it must be hard when your child leaves home to get married, and she made some comment about yes, it was hard when someone else became your child’s No1 priority. And how sometimes people might feel overlooked and ignored in favour of the new priority.
I have always known she preferred my sister to me – I put it down to them having more in common than she and I did, and being complementary personalities. It is one reason why the holiday on Orkney last year was so stressful for me. And I suspect my sister is Favourite Daughter because she visits mum fairly often. Of course, she does live a lot closer – 2.5 hours drive away – and she doesn’t have a household with children and pets who need looking after. Plus she and her husband have a lot more disposable income than we do – I am not jealous – we have made different choices, and are happy with our lot in life – but it does mean it is easier for her to afford to drive over to mum’s. If I went down, it would cost £££ – even though I get free train travel. She lives out in the middle of nowhere – so if I got to Ludlow by train, I would still need to get a taxi out to her, and that would not be cheap – and if we wanted to go anywhere, that would mean more taxis – or renting a car, which would equally not be cheap. And driving down from here would be ridiculous – it is 324 miles, and would take nearly 6 hours (and that’s without any stops en route) – and would cost £75 in petrol – one way – so £150 total. And that’s before factoring in any extra spending on petrol to drive us places whilst I am there, or spending on other stuff – a contribution towards food, or taking mum out for a mean or two to thank her for having me to stay. We don’t have that sort of money available.