1.) He used to joke that the only book he had ever read was a car manual. At least I thought he was joking. By the time I realised he wasn't it was already too late.
2.) I was a good person who did a bad thing. He was a bad man who once did something good. He seemed to think that made us even.
3.) Mother reads my school report. 'Don't try to be too clever, Pet,' she says. 'No man wants a clever wife.' She lifts my chin and sighs. 'Nor a plain one,' she adds.
4.) I always sat them in a draught, on tiny, child-sized chairs. That's why I always finished first on Parents' Evening.
5.) Aunt Kate stole Mum's first husband. They got over it. 'Family comes first,' said Mum. In 1979 she asked Aunt Kate if she'd put on weight. They don't speak now. Funny things, families.
6.) 'If you can't say anything nice,' Gran says,'don't say anything at all.' I stare silently at her. 'Cat got your tongue?' she snaps. You can't win with Gran.
7.) I was ironing your shirt when the policemen rang the doorbell. There was a button missing. It took me a minute to remember it didn't matter now.
8.) He was given three months to live. He proposed. She accepted. She looked forward to playing the tragic widow. His miraculous recovery was something of a disappointment.
9.)'You're a good girl,' said Mother, for the first time, as she lay dying. 'Not like that ungrateful daughter of mine,' she added. 'I wonder what became of her.'
10.) 'Are these frozen potatoes?' asked Gran. 'Not any more,' said Dad. Nobody laughed. We were too busy watching Mum as she picked up the carving knife.