The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I are lying on my bed, fully clothed, listening to her daughter (and my granddaughter) Hazel Bagel singing, via her mobile phone. This is one of my favourite things about my daughter’s
regular visits - not only do we get lots of odd jobs jobbed (as my dear Mum used to say) but every so often we down tools and allow ourselves to “just be.”
I am keen to hear what the Youngest of the Darling Daughters has to say about my sterling efforts to clear my kitchen surfaces of “toot.” It is the very first thing she comments upon. This means that either (i) I have been very successful
in my Clearance Task or (ii - and more likely) the previous state of my breakfast bar was all too worthy of note. All I need to do now, I am gently advised, is to find a way of marshalling all my paperwork, (previously on the breakfast bar, now piled high
on another kitchen surface) into some kind of order - possibly a box file?
I ponder on the attributes of a box file: capacious enough to contain a good many letters
/ leaflets / vouchers / coupons but neat and tidy with it. My only worry, I explain, is that it will be a case of “out of sight, out of mind” which could mean much important business being neglected. My daughter bows to the inevitable of an Immovable
Mother though her expression clearly indicates that she is not at all sure of the life or death importance of anything in my pile.
Sometimes out of sight, out
of mind can be a good thing. Up on the landing, providing a Tripping Hazard on my occasional visits to the bathroom in the dead of night, are several boxes and carrier bags packed with Christmas decorations and the twiggy bits of our Christmas tree. The Youngest
of the Darling Daughters immediately sets to, hauling down the loft ladder and proceeding to transfer every box and carrier bag into the giddy heights of the attic. As per my instruction, she deposits everything near the entrance so as to be in easy reach
next Christmas. Which seems a long way off at the moment but will come round soon enough, in my experience. For the moment, however, Christmas is most definitely out of sight and out of mind.
I have a treat to look forward to - my daughter is taking me to see Little Women at the Dome Cinema. Being all about family - and sisters in particular - she knows the film of one of my childhood favourite books would be right
up my street. Plus I haven’t been able to take in a film on the big screen since I nabbed the very last ticket for The Greatest Showman when Mr B was in hospital nearly two years ago.
I was almost foiled by British Gas who had disregarded my request for a morning only visit by their engineer and decreed I would have to stay in all day. I kept my cool (it’s my new resolution to stay calm and rational when dealing
with The Authorities rather than coming over all edgy and shrill) and phoned to rearrange the appointment for next week. Once I’d taken the decision it was surprisingly easy to put British Gas out of sight and out of mind.
We were going to cook chicken pilaff (known in our family as “leftovers”) for dinner but we chicken out (!) and call in on the chippy on the way home. That’s yet another good thing
about my Days With This Daughter - we never mind changing our minds when circumstances suggest it might be advantageous. My stomach, of which, as you know, I Am Always Thinking, was not too fussed either way.
Just before 7, she sets off on her long drive home. She tells me I don’t need to come out to see her off but I remind her of granddaughter Eleanor’s wise words “Would you even be my Nanni if you didn’t
come out to wave goodbye?” (For “Nanni” read mother or sister or other appropriate family member.) It seems the least I can do to show my appreciation to one who comes so regularly, out of love, rather than duty - and in search of fun as
well as odd jobs to do.
I stand at the gate watching the tail-lights of her car until they disappear into the darkness.
Out of sight but never - ever - out of mind...