It's about time Greg took his turn to deal with her - but he's in the loo when she phones, the lucky bugger. He really needs to buy some more Imodium. Today she drones on and on about something or other that I don't bother to listen to, and then she says that she thinks Stephen would make a much better MP than The Boss.
I don't argue with her. There's no point, and anyway, she could be right. Stranger things have happened and open-mindedness is my new stock-in-trade, although I have never actually met the sainted Stephen, perfect son, scout master and accountant. All I know for sure is that he works for the county council, whose accounts didn't really stand up to scrutiny the last time I heard....
Talking of scrutiny, I go to the optician's at lunchtime for my annual eye test. Luckily for me, if not for Mum, she's been referred to the Glaucoma clinic at the hospital, and so my test is free* for once. This is very good news, as otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it and would soon have been squinting like Johnny was without his glasses. Maybe I should get Stephen to sort out my financial situation.
My eyesight's even worse than last time it was tested, but then I knew that already, given my recent inability to see my eyelashes in my 25x magnifying mirror. (Very challenging for mascara application.) The optician gives me the usual lecture about working on a computer all day being very hard on the eyes, and the need to take regular breaks.
"Tell me something I don't know," I say. Famous last words.
"Well, you need to make an appointment to see your GP," she says. "Look at this."
"Yuck," I say. "What is that?" It looks like one of those Lennart Nilsson photos of foetuses in the womb.
"Put your glasses back on," says the optician.
It turns out that the photograph is of the inside of my eye, and she says that the result indicates that I may have a major problem with my blood pressure. Marvellous. Now I'm really worried.
I tell Max about it when I get home from work, in the misguided belief that this may gain me some reassurance.
"Bloody hell," he says. "What a coincidence."
"What d'you mean?" I say.
"Well, I just ran into Frank from round the corner when I was parking the car - you know, the one whose house backs onto Ellen's?"
"His wife dropped dead while we were away. Had a stroke. Undiagnosed high blood pressure - and she was only the same age as us."
"Great," I say. "Thanks for that."
I wonder what Saint Stephen would advise me to do about my husband. I may ask Mrs Lomax if he gives relationship advice, next time she phones. I just wonder how long it'll take Max to seek advice himself - on the subject of my life insurance.
*Specsavers tell me that your eye test is free if you have an immediate relative with glaucoma. Presumably because you yourself are doomed to the same fate.