Now, before all the jokes come in and the horror stories abound (and I know, there are some shocking mother/daughter-in-law relationships out there), to all intents and purposes she and I get on excellently.
Over the phone.
With half a world between us.
And I have people who can vouch what a lovely person she is. Her son for one thinks she is pretty special - but I also have it from a former daughter-in-law of hers, so that is high praise indeed, isn't it?
However, put me on the terrified-of-meeting-my-mother-in-law meter and for some reason it is measuring high.
The poor lady has already had some adventure in Australia.
They landed yesterday. (She is travelling with a friend of hers who is versed in travel) We advised them it would be best to catch a train to bridge the 400km distance between where their plane landed and nearby big town, as they are pretty fast, its a great trip and you get to sit back and admire some pretty spectacular scenery on the way. They followed our advice and booked tickets on the aptly named Sunlander.
Now, if you read any Queensland blogs that actually update regularly and give you the latest happenings, you will know one of the biggest latest happenings has been rain. Lots of rain. Rain that makes rivers run. Rain that cuts off roads. Rain that block trains from reaching far-flung places. Apparently, rain that also blocks trains from returning from far-flung places.
So to put in their "cute Australian phrases they got to hear" recounts, they are able to tell the story of how they couldn't catch their train because it was stuck in Longreach.
I am sure it will be far funnier to them in hindsight once they have arrived and relaxed - after finding a hire car and driving ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD 400km to visit us. And as well over 250 of that 400km is single lane highway with signs blaring "Be Alert", "High Fatigue Zone" and "Survive this Drive", we will be extra glad when they get here. Safely.
I have had experience at the mother-in-law stakes. I have Baka. Although P. and I never nupted, I have had a long relationship with his family - longer indeed than I ever had with him. Baka is the matriarch, binding her brood together with great cooking and a touch of familial guilt. One day I will write the sitcom that is my Outlaw family and she is indeed an integral member. (One day indeed I will write a blog post explaining the enigma that is Baka)
So - I have sent V out for provisions (and the eldest daughter, who is socialising) and am tidying (and realising we have mess everywhere that I never see, as I am someone who equates mess with comfort despite having a husband who equates comfort piles with mess) and trying my best not to make this molehill into a mountain. The baby is sleeping - she knows when to keep her head down!!
When next I visit here, I will either have freaked and be deemed as one or we will have shot down this albatross and I will have other pastures to stress upon...