Haven't updated for some time, during which events have moved on, to what looks like a successful conclusion.
Started the Monday speaking to sister about Madam; sister pointed out that I could not follow up anything she had told me. She and brother, who was over visiting mum, appeared at the door around lunchtime, so I sent Madam off to get supplies (she took forever to go!) while we put our heads together, and decided she must go, NOW, and forever. (They were worried she might be a risk: I don't think she is dangerous or malicious, just has a tendency to take advantage, and somehow make out that you are in the wrong if you disagree with her - besides knowing less about gardening than I do, and much less than she made out.)
Altogether more hassle than help! And I have enough hassle in the ordinary way, thank you!
My sister stayed until she came back, and she somehow got into an argument with my sister, which I let run so my sister could see the way she acts. She was downright rude, and finished by leaving to go to see a place she might rent. That left us free to pack up her stuff (including another load of washing!!!) and leave it where she could fetch it. The weather was cold and wet, so the washing could not be dried (and typically, she had not thought that through: a look at the weather forecast should have had her realise that it might well not dry in the conservatory as it had the first time).
I don't know that I ever actually said she had outlived her usefulness, and I couldn't hear all my sister and she said, but I/we have drawn the line on her doing the garden. When she rang to collect her things, I said I was sorry it hadn't worked out. She has a pine chest of drawers in my sitting room ('parked' in an earlier move when she hadn't room for it) and I have told her I want that out of the house asap. Fortunately she is missing it a bit, and so I could ask her to take it away. She tried to say her future was uncertain (implying she might want me to hang on to it??). I said very firmly that I wanted all the ends tied up, and therefore would she collect it as soon as possible: charity shops will collect from your house if you ask, so if she moves on it does not need to stay here!!
I do not want sight of her or her belongings again!! She had the cheek to inform me her washing was wet and heavy - what did she expect me to do? I have very little space even to dry my own laundry! She also said: "I thought you'd like some fresh vegetables, but you prefer to get them from Sainsbury's in plastic bags!" when I asked her to take what she could use of the ones she had planted. It is typical of her that she worded it so it showed her in the right and me in the wrong, besides completely ignoring the fact that she got the seeds to use with kids she thought she would be teaching and then used my garden to keep them going!!
Again, I don't think she is malicious: she just does not think things through and re-invents life to suit her (was there ever a likelihood of her teaching those kids, however much she wanted to?). I think she wants life so much to turn out how she would like it to be rather than how it is, that she takes as real a vague possibility, imagines that she can do something she would like to be able to do (designing my garden!) so vividly that she loses the distinction between reality and imagination.
I wonder if it's manic depression ... I know that's an older term, but it describes very well her capacity for grand ideas (or even little ones, like getting washing dry!) that are in fact totally impracticable, and might account for her capacity to rush at things without thinking them through, too.
My impression of her is certainly of someone who is always rushing from one thing to another and never staying still, which again would fit the manic, and most of her rushing is to meetings/demos of eco/feminist groups rather than anything more practical (like volunteering in a charity shop).
Sister also remarked that her fear about Madam was that she would somehow worm her way into the house and stay: not as likely as she thought as my experience with Maggie (who started well and ended up bossy) has made me very wary of having anybody else under my roof for long, and I had already decided that I would not let her stay the night again. She had the cheek to suggest, re the chest of drawers, that as I was in such close contact with my family, I should get one of them to move it!
I cannot believe her nerve!! She would probably claim she did me a favour in lending it to me: from what she said at the time, she needed somewhere to store it as she was moving to a place where she had not room for it. Anyway, brother is too far away and sister has hurt her foot, so she can forget using them!! I can see I will have to chivvy to get rid of it, but get rid I will!!
One friend on CBC remarked that I had the patience of a saint and she was surprised I had not resorted to GBH over this woman. There is a wealth of indignant exclamation marks, and I have come within a nanosecond of yelling at her: "THINK, YOU SILLY LITTLE GIRL!!" loud enough to be heard right across London! I wondered where that impulse had come from, and realised it probably dates right back to reading the Jennings books and the description from them of: "You silly little boy!" (though I don't remember any more than that).
Crikey! This is a long one, and if you have got as far as this I have indeed tried your patience. Thanks for your company.