Forget the inheritance. . . we’ll both need stairlifts

We saw our tall, good-looking godson Adam and his lovely wife in Boots the Chemist... fortunately, I was buying toothpaste at the time, not the slightly embarrassing stuff I buy for a small problem which abides, two aisles down.

And I was relieved not to be in the “special” aisle that displays many things men and women would only whisper about to pharmacists in the 1970s, despite the so-called Permissive Society.

Thank goodness we were only as far as teeth.

Adam, who is coming up to his first wedding anniversary, told me his mum and dad were away skiing in Edinburgh .

I know the weather is colder up north but I hadn’t realised it was so icy in the Scottish capital that the slopes were still covered in snow.

Adam quickly disabused me of the notion that his parents were on the piste. “‘SKIing,” he told me, with emphasis firmly on the first syllable, “is Spending the Kids’ Inheritance.”

My husband and I looked at one another. How had we failed to notice this was going on?

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We love our children and would do anything for them and all that but would we rather be jetting off to far-flung exotic realms or bequeathing them our not insubstantial fortune? And by “not insubstantial”, of course, I mean “non-existent”. And by “non-existent”... suffice it to say I recently received my pension statement.

Our children, Ruth and Mark, have few financial expectations of their parents, I think. Which is just as well. They already know we’re just going to fritter everything away on stairlifts, bath hoists, and, eventually, care home fees.

There was a time when Ruth maintained she would never let us go into a home.

Now, I believe she’s put our names down for a couple.

Mark, you may recall, has already moved away.

Yes. Unless we start frittering now, we could end up SKIing toothlessly on nourishing beef consomm� while wearing velour tracksuits and colouring in our pictures with wax crayons..

SKIing was not the only new concept introduced to me this week. As we drove past another pesky roadworks – the town is full of them and they pop up when you’re least expecting it – we saw a sign announcing “Deep excavation”.

“Why can’t they just put ‘big hole’?” asked my husband, rhetorically. Why indeed?

In fact, the last time I passed by, the workman’s head was still visible, so we’re not exactly talking journey to the centre of the earth.

Perhaps “Moderately Deep Excavation” would have sufficed.

A while back, there was a spate of temporary signs that appeared under the new computerised signs on the A14 that told us the new signs were not yet operational. We had already sussed this out because they weren’t working.

Now they are working they keep telling me to plan my journey to avoid Olympic Games’ congestion – even when 80 miles from London and heading north.

The garden has been consuming our time, this week. We have very distinct roles when it comes to gardening. We both go to the garden centre and I stand and chat to proprietor Ian while my husband fetches the trays of bedding plants for me to inspect.

Back home, he does all the work and I supervise. I make sporadic forays on to our small patch of forever England to pull out a few weeds or shoo away courting couples. Do those pigeons never stop? They obviously spend a lot of time in the avian equivalent of that “special” aisle at Boots the Chemist. Waiting on platform 2 for the train to London, we saw two of them attempting to tryst on the overhead power lines. Shocking but you have to respect that sort of commitment to procreation.

Me? I’m happy with a colourful floral display. And so to the business of planting the hanging baskets and patio pots.

“Which pot do you want the petunias in?” my husband asks and ventures his opinion.

I have noticed he is getting bolder as the years pass. Our 34th wedding anniversary is next week and I’m not sure he is as properly scared of me as he used to be. It seems that, in my 50s, I have suddenly become soft and compliant; scary as a scatter cushion

In the meantime, I can’t find a traditional wedding anniversary list that offers anything for 34 years. (No, not even parole). It’s pearl at 30 and coral for 35 so I’m guessing it might be something else from the sea...

Who said old trout?

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