Sunday, November 07, 2004

Auntie Lil is over from New Zealand. She was last here 7 years ago. I had to re-introduce her to the kids, who were, obviously, all a lot smaller the last time she met them. She was pleasantly surprised that Sam is almost over his penchant for dribbling food down himself, that Scott has stopped watching Barney the Dinosaur non-stop and that Danielle now towers over her. She met M and they got on well. It was a low-key meeting. Strange that, although another 7 years have passed, we could pick up conversation instantly. But it's hard talking to people that you've only seen a handful of times in your life. There's a whole period of redisovering who they actually are. For a few fleeting moments between mother's legendarily predictable open-top egg mayonaise sarnies, we were back in 1945, when she met Harry (quite literally Harry off dock, he was in the NZ navy) after he'd managed the impressive feat of spilling a tray of drinks down her ("I better come home with you and dry them off"! What a line!). All she wanted to do from the age of 14, she told us, was dance. She was out dancing in the big city while mum and the rest of her brothers and sisters had been evacuated to the bomb-safe countryside. Then, in 1946, in a fit of impressive "I'm leaving the dirty city of Hull behind"-ness, she upped sticks and left. To be seen again intermittently on various trips back. I remember being a little boy sulking when she turned up with Harry and cousins Jim, Linda and Peter because Jim, I think it was, shared my bedroom and I didn't want him too, because I was a spoit brat and my Action Man needed the space. The arrival of these exotic relatives was also the first time I'd seen sleeping bags - they seemed like an item of bedding from the future. Which, of course, for me they were. Anyway, good to see that Lil is still a great old gal.

The joke shop fireworks were good but emitted a ridiculous amount of smoke, which is probably why they were so cheap. Still, two domestic firework displays later and I still have both hands.

No comments: