Considering that I'm used to a large, busy group of friends and an even larger, louder family circle buzzing around me 24/7, you'd think that I'd find it easy to spend one day with my mums new Mother-in-Law.
Sure, I can exhaust my limited knowledge on gardening, the Antiques Roadshow and 'that lovely Alex Jones from The One Show' long enough to count as a conversation. Most seventy-somethings are satisfied with that, and feel they can then drink their tea and get back to the crossword.
This lady, although pleasant enough, seems to make my tried-and-trusted conversational topics fall into the dust. No longer can I talk about how the pansies are doing, as all I am met with is a cold, hard stare.
I really cant describe the feeling. Its not quite awkward, but definitely not the warm, friendly atmosphere needed with family relations.
I think the problem is, I want to talk to her. I want to go through my usual routine of BBC One shows and British flowers. I want to feel like I've made her feel welcome and that there's a nice atmosphere here.
But for some reason, I can't. And my mum is the same. She definitely tries (I suppose she has to), but I've noticed that the dog has been taken for much longer, more frequent walks when Daphne is here.
So two days ago, it was just me and Daphne in the house, for the whole day. I had a game plan and everything. I would walk up to her, and ask her about tennis. Because the day before I'm sure she had said something about Andy Murray, and I was so desperate, I was now convinced that tennis was the way to go.
To cut a long and rather painful story short, I walked up to her in mid-morning, managed nothing more than a squeak, then spent the rest of the day hiding.
Seriously, I had a three hour long bath because I was so embarrassed.
My skin still hasn't unwrinkled yet....