So the Fruitcake, my mother, has been learning mahjong.
Now this is more complicated than the sentence may initially read.
Some of you will be familar with how numerically challenged she is.
As I have said before, we are talking about the woman who, when playing Monopoly would roll, say, a six and a three, and before she could say 'Pass me the calculator' you'd exclaim 'Eight ! Go straight to jail!'
She was reasonably delighted when she told me that the mahjong sensei thought her and her friends were good enough to play on their own, and that she was going to be hosting them all for a gruelling afternoon while they slogged it out over the mahjong table.
And that is why she wasn't answering the telephone when my father-the-arms-dealer was trying to tell her that he had arrived safely back in the country.
So he rang me instead, 'I'm back ! Can't get hold of your mother, she's not answering the phone - I think she's having a snakes and ladders party.'