Diana: Mike’s mother (1970)

In Diana, Jess, Judith, Mike, Ruth on May 1, 2006 at 4:57 pm

Mike’s mother visited often and always in the afternoons.

In the hours before she came, Diana baked melting moments and glued them together with dollops of thick lemon icing. She wore her pleated pencil skirt, filed her fingernails and took the washing off the line. When she heard Mike’s mother knock, Diana closed her bedroom door even if the bed was made. Mike’s mother came alone, and it took an hour, what with the tram and the walk, and she wondered why they had moved so far away, but that’s how it is she supposed.

Diana used the tea set. Mike’s mother had given it to her the day after Mike and Diana got engaged.

My mother-in-law gave it to me,’ Mike’s mother said with a brisk note in her voice. There was not a hug or a kiss exchanged and Diana wasn’t even sure she had said thank you.

Diana carried the tea things in on a large silver tray. It came from Auntie Jess who said this was your mother’s. It was the kind of thing Auntie Jess needed to believe. Diana’s hands shook and so did the tray. The tinkling of the tea set was not an unpleasant sound.

Diana kept the tray tarnished so that Mike’s mother could say ‘seems a shame not to polish a beautiful tray like that’.

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