Diary of a Loony (1)

11th December 2004 

My mother came to stay this week, having cozened her way in with the feeble excuse that she needed to recuperate after an eye operation. When I grumbled that she could recover just as well in her boat, or indeed in Timbuktu, my grandmother just gave me a warning glance.

So that was that.

The old bag should have gone after the weekend but lingered on like a bad smell for a few days more. She spent most of the time complaining about her health and general incapacity but I noticed she had no problem swilling copious amounts of gin. 


The second best gin.

She has spent thirty years frittering away the family's money on exotic holidays, substances and men and now, utterly unemployable, faces the bleak prospect of an impecunious old age.  Thus she is on the hunt for someone, anyone, who might throw her a financial lifeline. She is desperately afraid my grandmother will live to be 90 and that she will never get her grubby mitts on the cash.

She is a vegetarian, at least when other folk are around, so my Sunday roast was sniffed at; the bed was not soft enough; the windows were not clean enough. All the while, like a leitmotif from a tragic opera, was the constant whining about her aches and pains and poverty.

Finally, I could take no more. Our last conversation was as follows:

“Och, the smell of that meat ye cooked is so strong. It'll be in the curtains, the carpet. Ye should take up a healthy diet.”

(Immersed in Boethius) “Mmmmm.”

“It's a terrible thing to be sensitive. Even worse to be sensitive and in poor health. I have fibromyalgia, you know.” (gulps wine).

“Mmmmmmmmmmm.”

Fibromyalgia, my arse: there's nothing wrong with your health that wouldn't be cured by a bit of exercise and not stuffing your fat face five times a day.

“I don't know what'll happen to me. Ye wouldn't have me live on in want, now would ye?”

“Certainly not, dear. Hurry up and die, then you won't be a burden.”

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