Freedom.

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Such a sweet sounding word for me and for the LSO. Tomorrow we begin our month of liberty, release and the right to do what we want, when we want to do it. It seems to have been a long time arriving and latterly the time has not passed quickly but I know the coming month will.

The AP has not been quite so vociferous about her month in Scotland as she has been in previous years but that is because we have taken no notice of the rather unpleasant little asides that get muttered at intervals. Things like ‘you’ll be glad to have me out of your hair’ or ‘it’s difficult to pack for a whole month’ as if my cousin and his wife don’t have a washing machine and it’s not as if this is the first time she has been there either. We have been treated like servants with a continual string of demands made without much in the way of please and thank you and although I would like to think that it is just a foible of old age I know in my heart that it is very much how she now thinks of us.

Sad but I suppose inevitable. The AP always hated sarcasm and has always said in the past that it is the lowest form of wit but now she resorts to it as a way to get at us, thinking it clever but it only comes over as hurtful. Last week it was the turn of the LSO who had gone to the pharmacy to collect some hearing aid batteries for the AP. He managed to get a month’s supply and when told, the AP did say thank you but followed it up with ‘Oh, and you managed it all on your own then?’ said in a silly little voice. The one that is used when seeing chips on the plate, ‘oh goodie, chippies’. Fortunately the LSO didn’t retaliate.

It’s all so trivial really but when you live with this constant battering it’s hard to see things clearly and I am only too aware that the LSO and I desperately need this break if only to recharge the batteries ready for the month following our much needed breathing space.

The beginning of May will be the celebration of the AP’s 100 years. The LSO and I will become chief cooks, bottle washers, bed makers, chauffeurs and general dogsbodies whilst watching the AP gushing over everyone and playing the grand old dame for the benefit of the audience. We know that the minute everything has settled back to normal the AP we know and tolerate will return, pompous, vain, snobbish and capable of being extremely unpleasant.

Oh well, we will just have to smile sweetly and open another bottle!

Twenty-four hours to go to liberation.

 

Think.

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Think. To employ one’s mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation. As a verb it means to have a conscious mind, to have some extent of reasoning and the ability to make rational decisions. To also consider something as a possible course of action as well as to invent or conceive something as in, have a plan. Probably the definition that most springs to mind for me is to have consideration or regard for someone, to think of others first. There is also the belief that something is true of someone or something as in ‘to think evil of the neighbours’ and there are many more.

There are the idioms too, such as, to think better of, to think fit, to think nothing of, to think twice. All this is assuming that the person doing the thinking has all their faculties intact.

Where is this going? Well the AP’s latest affectation is to use the word ‘think’ employing a sarcastic tone of voice when she cannot remember a word and substitutes some nonsense instead. This latest happening was during a discussion at the dinner table about the tennis that led on to her saying that ‘another one’ must be starting soon. Not sure what ‘another one’ was we asked and the response was a sarcastic ‘think’ what game is played with a ball and a stick. Well we could think (that word again) of quite a few and asked which game was she referring to? The screwed up face was the first response followed by ‘ you know perfectly well what I mean’. Of course I guessed it was the snooker the AP was referring to and she had forgotten the name temporarily but to try and imply that we were somehow in the wrong was just plain silly.

As a one off I could see the funny side but there appears to be a pattern emerging here. This morning I am preparing a second batch of marmalade when the AP bumbles into the kitchen. I decide to update her on some of our movements next week and ask her if she would like a particular friend for lunch next Thursday. She thought (that word again) that would be a good idea and would ask her today. After a bit of a conversation about the time she was being picked up she announced that she would ‘have to put the thing in the thing when she got back later’. This time I had no idea what the AP meant and ask what ‘thing was she putting in what thing’? Now that was foolish of me, the response was, yes you’ve guessed, ‘think’ said with the attitude of are you thick? It was Oscar Wilde who said ‘sarcasm is the lowest form of wit’ and he was not wrong. I’m not sure which is worse though the present use of ‘think’ or ‘joke’ when the AP has been truly insulting.

Unfortunately this morning I wasn’t amused and pointed out that I had no idea what she was talking about and not to to tell me to ‘think’ in that way. It could have been anything really, put something in the bin, put a teabag in a cup, put her water bottle in her bag, put her stick in the car when I realised what she probably meant was to put the dates for next week on her calendar.

These unpleasant outbursts are all part of the AP trying to manipulate and control us but it will no longer work.

I think the moral to this sad little tale is that The LSO and I should have ‘thought twice’ and to have weighed up things more carefully before making our decision four years ago. We should have thought about what we were doing in much greater depth before taking on such a huge responsibility.

Ah, the value of hindsight!