My mother gave us a skeleton clock. It was a bequest from an old friend. Better, she says, that it comes to us than goes into a sale. She couldn't be bothered to lift the glass hood and wind it. We can- and it goes a treat. While she was at it, Ailz wound the mantle clock upstairs. We were under the impression it didn't work, so it's stood idle for twenty years and more, but it does and has been chiming through the night. I had to shut the two doors between the room it's in and our bedroom so it wouldn't keep us awake.
Renee next door and her chap have just carried a bed down her path. She hasn't lived in the house for years and has been slowly clearing it. I had a chat the other day with Mohammed Asif. He'd like to buy it when it comes on the market. So, incidentally, would Samina next door and Mrs Bibi two doors down.
Alice has invited us to a family dinner in a pub on Christmas Day. All sorts would be there, including my ex-wife and her partner. I said thank-you but no because we're already committed to going down to my mother's. (The undeclared, second reason is that we can't afford £50 a head). Now she's a mother Alice feels the need to gather people around her. I tell her she's turning into the matriarch of the family and she seems to like the idea.