After much speculation about when they were due, the in-laws arrived Saturday lunchtime.
I always intend to take these visits in my stride, but it never quite works out like that. I get very anxious and this anxiety continues until they leave. To be honest it wasn't like that all the time. There were a few fairly pleasant moments when the relationship between me and my in-laws felt normal.
Mr A wasn't able to come home to see them. He is still waiting for the motorbike and for his salary which should be due any day now. So as is often the case, it was my duty to entertain them. On Mr A's advice I didn't get any more food shopping because the in-laws usually arrive with lots of food and it would be expected that I would eat meals with them. I've learned from past experience anyway that FIL doesn't consider the food I buy to be of sufficient quality for them. It would seem that my cooking is not up to his wife's standards, so it's rather a waste of my time to attempt to prepare meals for them.
However before they arrived I made another microwave cake which I have to say was absolutely delicious...an improvement on the first one. I made them coffee but FIL declined the offer of cake. Maybe he thinks I'm trying to poison him.
As usual I had made up the beds in the spare room, but this time they stripped the beds and replaced with their own bedding that they had brought with them. They brought some food but they left it in their large coolbox instead of transferring it to the fridge. I had all the basics in the fridge and offered to cook for them but they declined. Instead MIL picked some green stuff from the garden (don't ask me what..I don't know the name but it's similar to spinach) which she cooked with onions and served up with yogurt. It was actually much nicer than I thought it would be. But for the rest of their stay, they ate nothing in the house. They left their food in the coolbox in the car and presumably ate it while they were working on the land each day or they went elsewhere to eat.
I sat outside with them each evening and we did have some quite pleasant conversation, but there was a lot of criticism from FIL about most things. For example, the reason why the apple trees didn't produce much fruit last year was down to how I watered them. I had followed FIL's instructions but now it seems that I didn't do it correctly so I have now been taught how to do it properly. There was much criticism of and questions asked about Mr A...and daily phone calls from Mr A asking me what his father was saying about him. I am well aware of Mr A's faults and don't need to be reminded of them. And I absolutely hate being manipulated by both of them and being stuck in the middle. I've had other emotional issues going on this week too and all this has left me drained.
Mr A is not in the best of moods. The guesthouse where he is staying is pretty dingy. He's run out of clean clothes because there is nowhere to wash them and no time to do it. But as soon as he has the motorbike and his salary he will come home, no doubt with a suitcase full of dirty washing for me...something to look forward to!
There was a lot of work to do on the land which would have taken the in-laws weeks to do, but on Sunday they hired a man and a rotavator which cut the work down considerably. So by yesterday afternoon they were finished and set off back home again.
So now it's just me and the dogs for the next few days. It's going to rain today so I intend to stay in my pyjamas all day and do nothing. Time to chill out and lose the anxiety.