I spent the weekend up in Norfolk, the convenient halfway meeting place for my family. My sister lives near Norwich and my parents have an envy-inducing 43′ static caravan near N. Walsingham. At least it’s envy-inducing for me, being actually bigger than either the Guildford flat or the Berlin one. Actually, that’s a joke – I am not at all prone to envy, or wanting big living spaces. But it is a nice caravan, proper furniture, not got the boat-style bench-sofa uncomfortable vibe that so many of them have. The site bosses are apparently as horribly money-grubbing as the worst of boatyard/marina owners, and “mooring fees” are always an issue. The club is nice though – great restaurant and outdoor swimming pool!
Family is family, and some things never change, good and bad. Had a great carryout Indian meal, saved Dad from Death by 2 bars of Sainsbury’s White Chocolate. After protesting I didn’t even like it, I scoffed it anyway, drinking tea and watching some Italian series called “Inspector Montalban” that they are into. Helped Dad with a few things on his 7″ Fonepad, and he loved the new mini keyboard I brought him as a pressie. His delighted surprise at it being wireless was great to see. I was worried when he first retired, but he seems to have hit his stride, and is lively and engaged with life. he worked so long and hard, it’s great to see him enjoy life a bit! Mum’s just mum, still bustling and neat and restless, nobody’s idea of a soft touch. We’ve never been close – think that comes from both sides. I respect her though, definitely, and both parents always seem to wish me well – in a very hands off way that suits my massive independent streak. I can’t imagine any sort of personal or relationship discussion with either of them, let’s put it that way, and the whole “Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll” thing – hey well, that wouldn’t be approved of. Definitely not.
I confessed my next (imminent) ambitious scheme to Dad, and left him to pass it on … Mum getting fresh air outside the door, earwigging and knowing something is up – no doubt exasperated by my ways, annoyed at being “left out”. Frankly, I just don’t want to have to repeat myself – or be judged.
Sunday we had lunch as a family over at the club. VERY nice – despite a little friction between me and my sister (vegetables were just the excuse!). One of the tetchy days, I think. Never can tell why – usually we get a couple of days before that kicks in, but not this time. Nothing epic, just dominance tussling I suspect. I am more amused than anything because I frankly just don’t give a shit these days. But sis can carry it on one-sided… But hey, she’s still one of the few women that is in my mental league, and from a similar background, so that counts for a lot.
My nephew is now 18 months, tall, running about, got a few words and a pile of teeth. Dad loves little kids and is great with him – actually they all are. I don’t much join in (kids are not my thing in any way) but I’m still there, not left out, not being standoffish. Just another background person. Sis reckons he looks like pictures of me as a child (though I was never blonde). I dunno, I haven’t seen any for years. Maybe so, maybe so.
Drive back was horrible. Rain, traffic, Sunday Blues in full swing. It’s not leaving my family – I have no illusions that they are any sort of haven or solution – it’s just Sundays, journeys, and being out there alone with my atypical life.