IT’S almost impossible to find an appropriate gift for Mother’s Day. While The Mother always boasts of how easy she is to buy for, in reality she’s a bit of a nightmare.

In fairness this does sometimes play to our advantage - I never buy socks any more, I just go home and reclaim one of the packs we’ve put in The Mother’s Christmas stocking over the past decade or so.

“I could open my own branch of Marks and Spencer,” she announces every time  she hands over an unopened multi-pack.

This year I thought I had it pegged. With my sister miscalculating the date of Mother’s Day and booking a weekend away, not only could I claim some brownie points by taking over her traditional cooking stint, I also spotted the perfect gift as I checked out the programme for the Wales Millennium Centre.

As I pointed it out the housemate, her face fell.

“Oh God, not more opera.”

“You don’t have to come if you really hate it,” said looking at her dejected visage.

“I don’t really hate it and I’ll come because I like going out for dinner before. I can always turn my hearing aids off if the opera gets too much!”

Delighted that I’d sorted my gift dilemma I text The Mother.

“How do you fancy this for Mother’s Day?”

The reply came back swiftly. “Looks great. All booked and paid for!”

After countless debates about the idea of a Mother’s Day treat was that I treated The Mother we reached a compromise - I’d pay for dinner.

As we headed towards Cardiff last week all seemed too smooth. I’d managed to finish work early, the traffic wasn’t too heavy and we were in excellent time.

Arriving at the restaurant we were in fine spirits at the thought of a delicious meal and a night of entertainment to follow. We put in our orders looking forward to the delights that were to come.

Half an hour later we were still waiting for our starters.

“Everyone seems to be running around but without any food being served,” said The Mother, who had an early lunch so she’d be hungry when dinner time came.

Three quarters of an hour later our starter arrived with huge apologies. “Main course won’t be long,” said the waiter with no real conviction.

“Twenty minutes later we accepted the offer of a free starter, coughed up almost a tenner for two soft drinks and headed for the theatre.”

“We’ll get a bag of chips on the way home,” said The Mother, adding not altogether convincingly, “those few mushrooms really filled me!”

As we headed home after a thankfully redeeming night of music I could hear The Mother’s phone keypad clicking in the back of the car.

“Who are you texting?” I asked

“Just your sister. I’m letting her know that the pressure is off her roast dinner. It couldn’t be worse than the meal you took me out for!”