I’ve travelled to the coldest house in the world this weekend to argue with My Mum once more, do some shopping for her and clear up outside the back of the building we own in Leicester, the tenant is complaining at the state of the rear yars, which considering she is the only one who uses it, should probably be down to her. But in visiting once in a while with a Hoe to scrape away the weeds and frozen leaves it shows keen and allows us to keep an eye on things down there; Dad used to do that, Dad’s not around anymore sadly. So 40 minutes of hoeing and bagging up organic matter does the trick and we worked up an appetite to try lunch. A tiny restaurant doing Indian breakfasts, and street food, £22 for 3 meals, a plate of samosas, 3 Massala Chais, a ginger ale and a hot chocolate, delicious, and next to a very fine micro brewing ale house too, this little corner of Leicester is looking pretty damn fine if you ask me, but if you asked my Mum she’d have a very different perspective.
Her description of Leicester is the product of casual racism down at the luncheon club which she frequents once a month; a breeding ground where octogenarians can all agree to the myth of Leicester being a shit hole and is only getting worse. There hospitals are creaking because there are too many people, I usually stop her there as I know what’s coming, its too many brown people, and years of arguing this isn’t the case, and Brexit being a major contributing factor in destaffing the care homes, and years of underfunding the NHS is all part off the complicated picture. But you can be sure the Kibworth Beauchamp Luncheon club has it all wrapped up, discussing matters of skin colour with the volume turned up to a chorus of “I beg your pardons” and “what did you says” makes for a probably highly uncomfortable and downright offensive discussion blanketed with floral pattern table cloths and fine china tea cups.
I know what subjects to avoid now, I’ve told her that her views are pretty grim, but she continues to make them, telling me the same things over and over, repeating the Telegraph/Mail Mantra over and over. Its immigration which is the problem, but the Ukrainians are ok, but not the brown ones. The List: Politics is off, Leicester is off, Religion, since Dad died has shot up the charts to possibly third spot behind endless repeats of “Would I Lie to You?” and her absolute favourite “The Chase”. Poor Mum, she’s always really happy to see me since Dad passed away, always telling me the same stories, and sometimes filling me in with the new religious gumpf her friendly Curate has told her. This week she presented me with a piece of A4 with what looked like an equation, I thought her Curate had given her a mathematical puzzle to solve, using Bodmas (or whatever it was that specified the order of things to do within an equation, I think I forget what it was called). Evidently this equation was something to do with Christianity and the father, sone, etc and this equation has been repeated in chalk above the back door and a copy over front door. The house is now blessed, or maybe the rogue curate is secretly marking her house out for robbery or even worse baptism. Hey ho, if the fairy stories and mumbo jumbo makes her happy and spreads her interests wider than the television schedule, then that’s fine with me.
She’s finally coming round to having a hearing test and isn’t bothered in wearing a hearing aid, and is even happy to let the NHS pay for it rather than get one of the tiny devices which fit invisibly into the ear., she’s long hair so no tubes will be seen to give away her secret. “I’m fine talking one to one” she said after mistakingly hearing that I said my daughter had this weekend travelled to “Jam” sounds similar to Budapest I know. And her explanation as to why her hearing is poor is straight out of a medieval medical encyclopaedia; After flying, her ears used to hurt for the rest of the day, pressure popping towards equilibrium, which I think everyone gets to a greater or lesser extent, and she told me it takes a longer time for the ear wax to dissipate, “I must have smaller Tubes” I hastened not to loiter on this subject merely confirming that we need to arrange a hearing test sometime in the near future, possibly in the springtime when I can get over without running the gauntlet of driving through the darkness, you’ll understand when you get to my age.