Having arranged that older son (who is a chef) will cook Christmas meal and we will take it to MiL's house just leaving the parboiled potatoes to roast when we get there, we load the car up and set off down the motorway. Slightly later than I would have liked as none of the children want to get out of bed.
Tried phoning MiL throughout the 40-mile journey to tell her to put the oven on to heat up (in the full knowledge that 10 minutes later she'll go out to the kitchen and switch it off again). Constantly I get "User busy". She doesn't talk to anyone that long, ever. When we get there we discover upstairs extension has been left off the hook "so that no-one can phone me up at night", or during the day, or ever.
We arrive to find her eating soup. "What are you doing here?" We've brought your Christmas dinner. "Oh well, when you didn't come yesterday, I thought you weren't coming. It's Boxing Day now." No, it's Christmas Day, and we've brought your dinner.
Older son and I head for kitchen, and proceed to make full use of antibacterial spray, J-cloths, washing up liquid, rubber gloves, etc. before we even attempt the dinner. I ask younger son to bring me all the cutlery so I can wash that before we use it, and he comes back to say there are no forks in the sideboard drawer. The corkscrew has also disappeared.
OH goes upstairs and announces that toilet needs severe attention. Seems like having a water meter means you shouldn't use any water. We leave that area to him, whilst we battle on downstairs.
I hunt out all the so-called "clean" towels and facecloths, etc plus the dirty ones and put them all in the washing machine.
After lunch, older son takes remaining scraps out to put on lawn for seagulls to fight over, and comes back in to say drains are blocked and washing machine is discharging over the path and garden.
Whilst I'm washing up and trying to find pegs to hang washing out (Aren't they hanging up in the cupboard in the kitchen?" Er no, that's had a fridge/freezer filling that cupboard for the last 25 years. "Oh well I don't know where they are then.") OH and older son find drain rods and clear some stuff but there still seems to be a blockage at the U-bend bit. Turns out to be (quite a large) dead frog.
Add to that the fact that when we arrived she was sat watching the TV with no signal, just a large figure 1 at the top, having disconnected the set-top tuner and all its cables, who knows how long ago she'd done that. She seems to have thrown out recently: a salt and pepper set, a TV remote control (she was found recently trying to change channels with a calculator), the panic alarm in the hall - all things she saw no need for.
So you see, Tim, 24 hours and I get back to normality. Hope you all had a lovely day.