Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Sometimes I pretend to be normal...
We were up at 4am and on the road by 5 the weekend before last. The journey to Falmouth is 250 miles from home and from experience, it's best tackled early in the morning. We arrive at our daughter's house by 9:30am, and we're on the beach by ten sipping much-needed coffee, devouring biscuits and slipping in and out of our waterproof jackets as the weather alternates between drizzling rain and blistering sunshine. It rains as we eat our picnic on the beach. We stay there anyway and make the best of it.
'Would it be OK if I invited a friend for dinner tonight?' Olivia asks as we drop her home afterwards.
'Yes, that's fine,' I add.
'I have something I need to ask,'she adds. 'Do you think you could pretend to be normal while we're out?' Her comment is a harsh one. Aren't all families slightly crazy with their in-jokes and unique perspective on the world?
I promise that I will behave, but feel well and truly chastised by my daughter.
It's always a pleasure to meet up with our daughters' friends from university and E is lovely. On Olivia's recommendation, we head to a restaurant in the centre of town that's popular with students and enjoy our evening meal.
As I was up early and it has been a crazy day, a single glass of wine intoxicates more quickly than usual, but I try to pretend that I'm 'normal' (whatever that might be) and remind myself that on a good day I can fake normality rather well. I stick to 'safe' topics such as plans after university, cats, (E has several) and hopes that she and Olivia will remain in touch. It's all gone rather well, but with tiredness comes the possibility of saying something daft. Olivia is looking at me with a look that says, 'See, you can do this when you want to.'
My philosophy is more along the lines of... 'life's too short to be normal, why pretend?'
Jools Holland is playing in town and we meander towards the music after enjoying our meal. The concert is screened off, but we hear perfectly and occasionally catch glimpses of what's going on behind the mesh fence. It's a delightful end to a tiring day.
We stand on the pier behind the shops and restaurants and the clouds are perfect for cloud spotting. I deliberate over whether or not my daughter would approve of this topic, but decide to go with it anyway. I spot a fish and a rabbit and Mr A spots a cloud shaped like a chicken drumstick. I snort with laughter and E finds it all rather amusing. I get the impression that we have wandered too far from the realms of normality as Olivia dishes out a disapproving look. As the concert finishes, Mr A and myself make our excuses and return to the hotel, leaving the students to party.
The following morning we meet up with Olivia and drive to Sennen Cove and Porthcurno for rain-soaked walks along sea-misted beaches. We do this a lot in the UK. If you stay in waiting for the weather to become less inclement, you'd spend most of your life indoors. The day feels more like November than June.
Over a lunch of carrot and coriander soup, while attempting to thaw and dry out a little, Olivia pipes up with, 'Well you've completely fooled E, she thinks you're lovely and wants to come and stay when she's doing her master's.'
'Oh, it would be a pleasure to see her,' I add.
'Would it?' said my daughter. 'I have no idea how the hell you'd pretend to be normal for that long,' she says.
My daughter may have a point.
Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
Powered by Blogger.