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    Notes To My Mother-in-law

    By: Phyllida Thompson

    Date Released

    Out of Print

    She washed on Monday, ironed on Tuesday. Wednesday was bedrooms, Thursday baking, Friday fish and floors, Saturday polishing, particularly the brass if it was "looking red at her," Sunday was God and sewing. She had a framed print of "The Light of the World" on her bedroom wall and her drawers were full of crochet hooks and knitting needles. She could turn the heel of a sock and the collar of a shirt. She made rock-cakes, bread pudding and breast of lamb with barley.

    It was some while before Phyllida realised she was just a bit, as Annie would say, "Mutt and Jeff". After some hilarious misunderstandings and to avoid confusion, she stuck comprehensive lists on the fridge door by a large calendar marked up in coloured crayons. It wasn't enough. Annie always said she'd rather be blind than deaf, and aware at last that she was becoming increasingly isolated, Phyllida began to write out the day's gossip at the kitchen table, putting her notes by her bed before she went to hers.

    One night Phyllida's husband wandered off to bed, muttering darkly that she spent so much time each evening writing to Annie she could have written a book. "And illustrated it!"

    Here it is.

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