So, home, dried off, gear now dripping dry over the bath. I'm snuggled up with my husband, who I've missed a lot today.
Went to see Mum today. Although I suppose I mainly went to see Nicky.
We met up at Mum's old house. The little garden is really overgrown, and now all dead for winter. Needs a lot of tlc. But it wasn't the weather for that today. And anyway, whoever gets it won't care. It's theirs to do as they like with, they'll undoubtedly just be happy to have somewhere to live.
The house does seem empty, without her, and her few things she's taken. They let you sort of, do out your room, if you want, with your own furniture. So she took the table out of her room, and one of the armchairs, and a bookcase and TV. And there wasn't loads else. Beds, the rest of the three-piece suite, a horrible kitchen table and chairs.
Nicky said she'd asked if any of the others wanted anything, but Sam and Rach didn't. Danny didn't answer.
We went through the few books she'd left - there were barely any anyway. Just recipe books, a few things people have bought her over the years. Mostly untouched, spines still uncreased.
And then there's photos. As Nicky said, none from when we were small, unless other people had given them to her. But some from later in our childhood, when the others where still quite young.
Very few, though. Cost money, didn't it, to buy your film, get it developed. So it only happened on special occasions. There's a few holiday pictures. Mostly with the men of her life in them. I don't know if she'll want them.
After we'd done a bit, and it would be well past their lunchtime, we went to see her. I took her a card and present from us. She asked where John was, in a way I couldn't tell if it was suspicious or accusatory or just...her. Anyway, she had a card for us, too.
And then she tried to give me a tenner each for the boys, and I refused it - on the grounds she's got practically nothing and they don't want for anything. Except...well, I wish I hadn't, now, because it just caused a stupid row about her not being good enough and, you know, just bloody stupid. Which was exactly what I didn't want. And then her saying we shouldn't be paying for the home and all of that stuff. And honestly, she's probably the one person left in my life who really knows which buttons to push to make me lose my cool. And she's exactly the person I don't want to do that with. And it's also exactly what I would do in her situation, because like it or not, we are alike, far too much so for our own good.
So, anyway, went back to the house, did a bit more sorting, so now there's a pile of furniture to go after Christmas, to the tip and a charity, and then...that's it, pretty much. House back to the council, for a new family. Not that it was ever really my home, but it still feels odd.
Have a picture of some sleepy degus, because...well, they're lovely And they've been with us two years now. I still remember sneaking them into Mrs Hudson's flat with John - and her being horrified by having to live with them for a day and a bit, until Christmas. And John and I really wondering if we'd done the right thing, and if Sherlock would look after them well enough, or if we'd end up doing it. Or if he'd get bored. But he hasn't. He's been wonderful, and he's learnt a lot, and been a very dedicated and responsible degu-carer.
They fluff themselves up all fat when they're sleepy, like here. But they're still interested enough to figure out if you've got food, despite being half asleep.