My parents are coming to Sudbury today. I haven’t seen them since the day before I moved here (eleven weeks ago), and they’ve never been to Sudbury before; and unless they sleep in and miss their plane or spontaneously combust (the latter is more likley where they are concerned), they will no doubt have arrived by the time this blog goes viral.
Antonia and I are due to pick the parentals up at 7.45am from Stansted airport. And from there, I think we’re going back to my flat for a cup of tea and then to their b’n’b to drop off their suitcases. In between, we may or may not go on a jaunt to Bury St Edmunds via a couple of other wee villages.
Antonia thinks my parents may be too tired for a cross county trip so early in their visitation (I mean normal folk would be if they’d had to get up at 4am to catch a flight) . But I know them better than she does (obviously), and I’m pretty sure that my mother will be demanding a tour of the local woolshops and haberdasheries no sooner than she’s crossed the theshold of my small and nefariously unfrilly abode.
My mother is one of these people who gets up at 6am every morning (rain, hail or zombie apocalypse) and cleans the house from top to bottom, before departing at 8.30am on the dot (or earlier) to traipse the length and breadth of Scotland in search of additional random household appliances… or the perfect pair of orthopedic shoes. I swear to god, I have never known my mother not to be on a mission; and she once complained that her whole day was ruined because she slept in till 11am – this was fifteen hours after she was discharged from hospital for having a suspected bleed on the brain. My father is also an early riser, but he doesn’t have any choice.
I often wonder what my parents were like before my sister and I came along, and what their younger selves would have thought of me if they didn’t know I was their daughter. I found a passport photograph once where they both had long hair and youth and goofy grins, and that’s when I started to fantasize about travelling back in time and visiting them during their early years.
Maybe I’m weird, but I like the idea of watching (and possibly interacting with) my parents as twenty-somethings. And I like the idea of following them along the shingle of Blackpool beach during that summer they spent there in the late seventies, back when my mother looked like a brunette version of my sister. I would witness my father’s burial in the wet sand and his added appendage of two castle-shaped breasts. I could also wave to the giggling baldy toddler version of myself, complete with yellow cardigan and sunhat and pram.
Anyway, I really hope they enjoy their wee holiday down south. I’ll bloody need one by the time they’ve gone.