This is the first new blog I have written on this site since its launch, and I come at it afresh from a sunny weekend in Cheshire with my mother, including:
- Getting my car brakes fixed (ouch!)
- The traditional trip to the Royal Exchange to see a play called 5@50 (uncomfortably close to home for those of us north of the half century) about five neurotic women coping with addictions and crises of one sort of another.
- A delightful sensory experience at Chatsworth House, where the gardens were a riot of tulipy colours and with a splendid cascade fountain, perfect for cooling the feet on a warm day! We also went to the awesome farm shop and later to Bakewell to buy one of the much imitated but never equalled pudd’ns !
- Another, somewhat more recent tradition: lunch with my mum and Roy Wadsworth, erstwhile colleague at KPMG and fellow curry-lover, this time at a fine establishment in Bramhall called Khandoker, which, in order to celebrate its first birthday was offering us a free main course. How could one possibly refuse?
Visiting my mother for Easter felt curiously like stepping back 40 years to the times when outings on Easter with parents were de rigeur, often to stately homes and occasionally to the seaside towns of England. A curiously English pastime, maybe, one which seems genetically inbred. No matter how much we say as teens that we will never do the same… 20 years on we are doing the same with our own kids!
Except of course, we become parents to our parents. My dad used to show his love by taking me to sports matches when I was a teen, but when he was afflicted by terrible arthritis towards the end of his life, and thus became a wheelchair user, I took him to football and speedway matches, wheeled him there, bought him a pint or two, helped him deal with the ordeal that are loos in these stadia, and generally showed him the love and support I received all those years before. In mum’s case, she can get about my bus but not by car, so whenever I visit it is trips out, lunches, errands and chores, almost all of which depend on mobility.
But I digress. A day out at Chatsworth proved tiring but, in-keeping with my growing age and maturity (or lack thereof), I actually enjoyed walking around the grounds, experiencing said tulips and dipping my feet in the cool fountain water. Well, you’ve got to, haven’t you?
Next weekend we have the Royal Wedding Friday (yawwwwwwwn) and the Mayday bank holiday. Sometime over that weekend I will be taking my kids out boating, weather permitting. They will have a great time splashing in the water, while we adults drink in the scene, enjoy splendid Essex riverside and remember our parents taking us out on very similar days, long since past!
Funny how the Bank Holiday brings all the Great British eccentrics out of the woodwork to engage in their traditional pastimes, trooping out to the coast, doing something just because it is the done thing so to do. How very odd we are, don’t you think?