When the children 'phone , you naturally want to hear all their news , so you ask about what's been going on . How are their children , partners , partners' parents , work , their friends , the cats , the garden ? ... yes , being related to me must be like being picked up by the KGB .
It's an empty nest thing , I suppose . For some reason it took me ages to get used to not knowing what they were wearing that day , once they'd left .
A fully furnished picture of their home life makes them seem nearer .
And now Younger Daughter has introduced a further character ... After years of showing no interest in gardening or of growing anything at all , she now has a plant .
So now , of course , every week I'm also asking after Mint . Together we glowed as she reported that it had two new "branches" ( she's still not mastered the jargon but it's just a question of time ) ...
Now , as long as I don't start saying , "And how's Minty this week ? "...
The Cold Bare Boughs of Winter
22 hours ago