My Mum, Mrs VegemiteVix Senior has arrived from Australia for Christmas. Cue – chaos, chuckles and a certain amount of consternation.
Mrs VegemiteVix is a very keen housekeeper so before the Mothership’s arrival I could be seen racing around the house tidying slipcovers, straightening balls of dog fur that are wont to whispering through the house like dust balls and licking mirrors clean.
Of course my Englishman couldn’t really see the problem. In much the same way that he hasn’t noticed the fort of unpacked boxes in the garage, or the fact that no one else in the household knows where the broom is kept.
In between cleaning and stressing (I do one significantly better than the other) I had to race out to Miss Fliss’ prizegiving, where she picked up four awards and then out to the local Buckland’s cafe for a celebratory cappuccino before racing home and liberally spraying some eau de calm.
It was great to see Mum at the airport and to bring her home. She hasn’t seen the kids for a few years and was very surprised to see how much they’ve grown and matured. Before long it was time for dinner and Mum was happy to lend a hand in the kitchen.
We were like a well-oiled machine. In one corner of the kitchen Whovian Traveller was sorting lettuce leaves for the salad, I was at the stove quietly cooking onions and garlic and Mrs VegemiteVix Snr was at the grating post. Her task was to grate the carrots and cheese for the homemade burritos we were making.
Before too long Mum reached a snag. She’d been quiet for a few moments, soldiering on until finally it was too much. She had to say something.
“I really don’t think, ” she said tentatively.
“That this is working very well.”
She lifted the grater to demonstrate.
Indeed it was a very small grater, completely inadequate for the task at hand, but perfect for the task it is usually assigned.
Which is grating ginger.