Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Monday January 3rd 2011 – Back to This Year – The Announcement.
Happy New Year! We awoke this morning to a startling phenomenon, which I believe is referred to by these sophisticated urban types as ‘internet connection’.
Yesterday, January 2nd 2011, was all rather warm and deliciously lazy. This was fine, as today was set to be the festival of ‘getting all things done.’ I must admit that it hasn’t got the same appeal as Glastonbury, but you’ll feel a lot better afterwards.
All was going well, the house was semi-tidy, TLPO’s meals were cooked, bags were packed for tomorrow and I was left with 2 clear hours for a blog catch-up.
Hoobiz and The Little Perfect One had set off for a heavily-wrapped trip to the park and I had plonked my bottom down in front of the screen. I had just enough time to take a few sips of coffee, fiddle with my stapler and have a fight with the Sellotape before Hoobiz rang me on his mobile.
‘My parents are coming over in about 45 minutes. Apparently it’s nothing scary but they want to tell us face to face. I’ll give you three guesses...assuming you’ll want to squander two of them...’
1 - Helmut and Bridget had become vegans after seeing a TV documentary which confirmed that it really wasn’t a scam after all.
2 – Following an alien abduction, they had been re-programmed. Hallelujah! They now contained an acceptable measure of humanity.
Why now? Why do they need to invade us now? The day before 2011 starts in earnest. The day before TLPO’s first session with the childminder.
The problem with the festival of ‘getting all things done’ is that in order to actually achieve the most pressing things, you have to sacrifice some of the more basic. I don’t know, like use a hair brush, have a shower or put on ‘fit to be seen by other people clothes’. Maybe it has got more in common with Glastonbury after all.
Even those 45 minutes of my precious writing time were now to be replaced with unscheduled personal grooming. Yes, I do realise how vile that sounds, but interrupting a blissful afternoon, especially one before the big drudge moves in, is certainly much more disgusting on every possible level.
Odd that I should be considering my appearance unsuitable for a visit from my nudist in-laws, but whilst they are frequently naked they are not usually grubby.
They arrived and after about 5 minutes Helmut made the announcement.
‘Ja, the thing is that we’ve decided to move back to Australia.’
‘Well, that is shocking,’ said Hoobiz sarcastically, but not aggressively so. ‘I think we’ve known that for some time.’
‘Oh no, how could you know?’ says an astounded Bridget, ‘We only decided ourselves yesterday and we haven’t told anyone yet.’
‘Ja, it makes sense boy,’ booms Helmut, ‘all are family are back there now after all.’
I look at Hoobiz, but say nothing. It’s so long ago that this pair elevated clumsy and tactless into Neptune’s stratosphere, that it would be totally futile to comment on it now. In fact, reminding them that Hoobiz is their son would only cause confusion at this point.
‘When are you going?’, asks Hoobiz.
‘It might be the end of May or, if not, then it might be November.’ Helmut replies.
I’m quietly seething, trying to keep my face neutral and not let it show the voice inside me, whic was screaming, ‘Then why did you have to rush over here today? Rotten, time-bunglers! That’s what you are!’
The conversation continues for about 20 minutes and Hoobiz tries to gently understand how well the move has been thought through. It’s complicated, mostly because the full story is never available and the one that you can piece together from the little snippets isn’t ever consistent. It will mean that Helmut and Bridget leave life of independence in the UK for a life dependant on the kindness of their other son, Axle, in Australia.
All that Helmut will explain is that, ‘the big story is the future.’
Well, that’s all tidy then.
As they are leaving Bridget asks if we knew of anyone who would take their cat. This is a tricky one, as it’s a cat that can’t be with others, children or dogs. Also, this is a cat that has absolutely no time for humans. Of course, there are lots of organisations that might be able to help and I mention a few of these.
Bridget says, ’Oh, that’s good. We can always try them. We don’t need to worry about Tweety, we already found him a new home. Yes, that was sorted a few weeks ago. Shame, he’s going tomorrow.’
Strange, I thought, that you already managed to find a home for your budgie when you ‘haven’t told anyone’
After they’ve gone I ask Hoobiz how he feels about the announcement.
‘Well, I suppose it’s for the best,’ he says quietly.
‘For us, or for them?’, I continue.
‘For us,’ he says, ’For them it’s the worst idea imaginable.’