Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
The rest of the bunch showed up about four o’clock, the minibus arriving in the drive almost dead on the hour. I stood by the back door in the sunshine and was mobbed by my children.
“Were they good?” I asked Henry, who looked suitably bronzed.
“Of course they were, I warned any of them who weren’t could swim home. Danny did think about it because he reckoned he’d miss a term at school, until I pointed out the sea gets colder the further north you go.”
“Especially at Christmas time,” I said, looking at Danny, who shrugged.
“We brought you a present,” Livvie shoved a bag into my hands.
“Thank you, all for this.” I opened the bag and inside was a pair of red Menorcan sandals or avarcas sandals, which have a closed in toe and a fixed heel strap. “Ooh, shoes, lovely,” I smiled and once again was engulfed by my children.
“It was my idea,” said Livvie.
“Thank you darling,” I said hugging her.
“We got some for Trish too.”
Trish was handed a bag similar to mine and within minutes she had them on her feet and was posing in them.
“Isn’t you gonna twy you’se on, Mummy?”
“Yes, when we go inside. Come along now, David has done a risotto for everyone.”
“That’s Italian not Spanish,” sighed Julie.
“Well we thought you’d have eaten your share of paella by now.”
“Yeah, I s’pose we have—they’re good though, aren’t they?”
“Oh yes, I like them very much.” It was true, I did like paella. We walked in together, “So what did you think of the Menorcan men, then?”
“What?” I gasped before laughing.
“I got my bum pinched umpteen times.”
“Were you wearing those shorts?”
She looked down at her denim hotpants, “Yeah, or my red pair,” she looked bemused.
“Well then, Latinos are renowned for their pecadillos.”
“You coulda warned me.”
“I haven’t been there, so how could I?”
“Yeah, well next time, I’ll break the dillows off their peckers,” she advised me. Mind you her shorts were so tight I’m surprised anyone could find any slack to pinch.
“Violence doesn’t get you anywhere.”
“So you think it’s acceptable?”
“No I don’t, I deplore it just as much as wolf whistles by building site workers, but it seems a custom that’s tolerated over there.”
“Mind you, down at the beach at San Tomas, they have all over tanning, some of the men there—well, Mummy, talk about hung like a horse.”
“So taking Premarin you had to be a bit careful did you?”
“Stallions, equine oestrogens---never mind.”
“Oh I see, absolutely.”
“Did you go skyclad, then?”
“Sky clad—oh yeah, I see it now.”
“It’s a term used by Wiccans.”
“On their broomsticks—Harry Potter didn’t fly naked did he?”
“Harry Potter was written for children, and I presume the films were made for a similar audience.”
“Well you went to see the films,” Julie accused.
“I was taking the girls, wasn’t I?” That was my story and I was sticking to it.
“Not the last one you went with Daddy to see that.”
“Yeah, well we wondered if it was suitable for younger kids.”
“So that’s why you bought the DVD was it?”
“We considered it was less scary on the small screen.”
“Some parts were very scary, especially when Severus Snape was killed.”
“Oh the snake bite thing—yes, that was a bit nasty, but then Voldemort was a nasty piece of work anyway.”
“Let’s talk about nicer things, Mummy.”
“It’s all make believe, the Harry Potter stuff.”
“I expect you’re going to say the blue light stuff is too.”
“Is too what?”
“You practically raise people from the dead and it’s make believe?”
“Yeah, people believe what they see.”
“So what do you see if you think it’s all nonsense?”
“I don’t see anything, so I think it is make believe.”
“But you feel it, you’ve told me things about myself that no one but me knew. You’ve felt the energy when it passes through you, you’ve even seen the blue light occasionally.”
“I’ve also seen funny lights in the sky, but I don’t immediately think of UFOs or aliens.”
“You’ve seen UFOs?”
“I said I’ve seen funny lights in the sky, which I assumed had a more rational explanation than little green men from Mars.”
“Why do they always portray them as little green men? The UFO people reckon they’re greys or whatevers.”
“I have no idea, probably originated from a film or a book.”
“It’s pretty widespread, isn’t it?” For Julie, that was quite an intellectual observation, being more interested in hair or fashion than most other things—oh and boys since she’s been done.
We entered the dining room, where David was ladling plates of risotto and passing them down the table to the hungry mob I call my family. “Not too much for me, David, thanks.”
“You’ll be lucky to get any, this lot are eating it like it’s going out of fashion.”
“Okay, I’ll just have a banana or a piece of fruit.”
“No you won’t,” Simon asserted himself. “Come and sit down and eat properly, there’s plenty. David has another dish yet for seconds.”
I glanced at David who blushed and said, “Oh yeah, forgot about that.”
In the end I did get some risotto and it was very nice, although my portion was small as I requested, I just wasn’t that hungry. When I’m worried I either eat all the time or not at all—this time it was the latter. I can’t say it worried me as much as it seems to have worried Simon. I suppose I should be grateful he cares about me enough to mention it, but I won’t starve to death, I’m not anorexic or anything, just not hungry.
Later on I heard Trish recounting her latest ordeal and exaggerating my part in it.
“Weren’t you scared?” asked Livvie.
“Not really,” she dismissed matter of factly. “I knew Mummy would get there in the end, I just had to wait for it to happen.”
Huh, it seems I’m getting predictable in my old age. It’s just as well that Trish didn’t know how close that last rescue was—to failure. I nearly didn’t make it to the house. Having said that, I really don’t believe Bernadette would have hurt her, despite what Trish says about her early childhood.
In fact I have a sneaking feeling that Bernadette would have preferred a daughter, but having had a boy she couldn’t reconcile the one becoming the other. However, in time, if Trish is to be believed, they will reconcile that between them. I hope so.
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