As one door closes another slams in your face.
My wife and I sat with my father in law (he's 82 but you wouldn't know it) and his 62 yearold girl friend just talking, mainly about tracing the family history which has turned into the the national hobby following a couple of BBC programs tracing the geneology of one or two minor celebrities. The conversation drifted into holidays, a topic I am begining to detest with a passion. We had planned to go on a narrow boat for a week in May but with one thing and another I haven't organised it. I mentioned how little time we seem have and somehow the conversation turned into a discussion of the difficulties of maintaining work/life balance when you look after small children. My wife may have taken thia as a dig at her chosen profession.This in turn caused a discussion on how much time we spend with our grandchildren. Now I dearly love my grandchldren and I love to be with them, although the two year old can be wearing occaisionly. I know that I moan when we have them at weekends and they wake up very, very early in the morning but in general the time I spend in their company is delightful. They're both wonderful human beings and their childhood will not go on forever. I enjoy the 'grandad experience'. Given my son and daughter's problems over the last few months we have babysat as necessary to help out while they sorted themselves out. Its the least we can do.
My wife began telling her father how many times we had looked after the grandchildren and let slip the fateful sentence "of course we've had them a lot since W and P spilt up before xmas". At that point purient interest on the part of the 62 year old took over and I had to sit while my wife went through the whole story for her benefit. Now I found this painful for two reasons fisrtly I didn't want to hear it again - I don't dwell on the past - and secondly I had told my daughter that my father in law knew nothing about her problems. She was pleased about that because she knew that her husband's grandfather thought highly of her. I could do nothing to stop it; it just rolled out for what seemed like hours. I could not bring myself to comment but changed the subject as soon as I could. Luckily my father in law is quite deaf so he only picked up some of the story. He was very surprised and didn't react any further than that. His girl friend the 62 year old, daily mail reading, reactionay, neo-facist, heard everything though. I've tolerated this woman for a long time. I now feel glad that I only see her a couple of times a year.
Anyway this long story ends here. I'm very sorry Pixie. Grandad P knows all. The story of your troubles is now officially part of the family legend; regardless of the fact that your story is not quite over yet. I don't think that they needed to be told they're not close family or a part of the Lancashire arm either. But whats done is done.
Other than that it was a great weekend! We had a curry night on Saturday. My eldest son cooked a wonderful pork curry, it was brilliant, no powders or pastes used just each spice used appropriately. I firmly believe that only happy people cook well. This was extremely encouraging. I did a Caribean curry and a prawn tikka both excellent but not in the same league as the pork curry my son made. We also played cranium which was really good laugh.
We finally got rid of my in law at 14:00 on sunday and had time to go into the garden where some heavy digging enabled me to rid myself of the frustration caused by my wife's outburst. Next weekend we have my other loverly daughter and her husband and their dog. The dog loves me, but he's deaf and a little insane.