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I sit here, surrounded by rain and half finished chores, fielding ICQ messages from ex-colleagues who seem far too happy and upbeat for such a dreary sunday afternoon. They quiz me on my engagement, ask to see my fiancee, but then suddenly have something else to do when I ask to arrange a dinner, or a party. What the hell will we do at new years? I would suggest a London noder's gathering, but I suspect everyone will have something else to do.

Why that reaction?

My mother had her old school recipe book in her kitchen. I idly asked how old it was, but I was cut off in mid-sentence by her hissing at me to shut up. Surely my stepdad knows how old she is? Surely the fact that she has a 26 year old son has clued him into the possibility that she is older than him (he is 35ish). What is her problem with her age? I would understand if she were at work, but she's at home. I hate the way she is quite prepared to deny she has an older son to lie about her age. Am I that unimportant to her?

I am also somewhat enraged by the way my Mother and Stepfather are amused at my engagement; my Mum still calls katyana "Anthony's friend" in conversation. It's as though she hasn't moved on from the times I would have a little girlfriend when I was 8 and 9. I realise that parents will always view their children, as, well, children, but to call my fiancee my "friend" makes it sound as though this is some passing thing. It's not. This makes me want to shout in my mother's face and tell her that I intend to spend the rest of my life with this girl, and that she had better get used to the idea.

But, of course, that would be immature.