No, really it was her birthday yesterday, I'm not being cruel just stating a fact.
As usual it crept up on me, I did not remember until Saturday and as my art work was at school I decided to wait and risk sending something Monday. I had earmarked a small oil painting after she had looked at one at the Summer exhibition for her kitchen before blowing her budget on a Joe Tilson print, but when the time came to choose I found I was ridiculously attached to them. Luckily I had done some less layered ones recently, trying out a new way of working and as they had taken very little time to complete I was able to let one of them go. The idea was to send it as a card as it was size A6 and tell her to bring it to St Ives where I know of a brilliant framing shop. Oil paintings need a lot of TLC when being framed, glass kills them and so rather than let her shove it in a cheap frame from the pound shop I though this time I would do it Justice.
Feeling guilty at this cheapskate option I then sent some flowers via M&S from the girls.
The following day it quickly transpired that despite not posting the painting until after 4pm it had arrived first thing that morning. Am I the only one in this country who is still amazed that the post office can do that?
I am thanked for the card and I am assured that I do not need to frame it as she has an old photograph frame knocking around somewhere.
A small piece of me dies.
Whilst I had an email to thank me for the card there no mention of the flowers. My sister of course had sent her an effing designer t-shirt , scoring maximum points for size and colour choice..Bitch.
I don't say anything about the flowers I want them to be a surprise, I get Kitty to phone in the afternoon and still no mention. In the end I phone and ask. No, they had not arrived. I then, whilst talking to her on the phone attempt to log on with my left hand onto my hotmail account, which is not easy because a) I have upper and lowercase letter in my password and b) effing BT hijacks our wireless signal so you have to click a raft off buttons to circumnavigate it.
That done I finally track the order, they were delivered a 1pm, no one was in so they left them In a 'secure place'... Yeah right, we all know they were thrown onto the doorstep.
Me " Did you get any flowers today?"
Mother " No, why would you send flowers, your sister sent some last time and they were half dead, what on earth is the point of sending flowers, why waste your money like that?"
Me "It's your birthday"
Mother " Well I've been in all day, I have not heard anyone ring the bell apart from the roofer, there is no way they rang the bell"
Me "can you check to see if they are there?"
I hear her walk to the door. Yes, they are there.
Mother "I've been in all day there is no way anyone rang that bell or even knocked"
I hear her opening the box.
Mother " OK, sunflowers and agapanthus?"
Me "yes, since you're blind* I thought I would get you something bright enough to see"
Mother " well they are fully open so that means they will only last a couple of days.."
Me " Since when did anyone send sunflowers in bud?"
Mother "I suppose so......(suddenly startled) OH GOOD GRIEF YOU MADE ME JUMP"
I hear my sisters deep Yorkshire voice in the background, she has come to take Mother out for dinner.
Mother " Why didn't you ring the bell?"
Sister "I did and knocked but you didn't answer so I let myself in"
Mother "I didn't hear you"
Sister " Yes, deaf as well as blind!"
I wish my mother a pleasant meal, god help my sister navigating her way through that menu, a Chinese with no onion or garlic!! No chance.
I have just received a more upbeat email praising the said near dead flowers as looking wonderful!
* I am not being mean she has lost much of the sight in the central part of her vision so sees mostly fuzzy shapes.