A Visit to the Fam


I spent the second half of last week nestled in the bosom of my family. I tend to prefer the bosom of my beloved, but in terms of the familial bonds, I would have to rate my kin as quite decent.

My sister is a high school teacher, and likes to swear and be cross. This makes her a perfect high school teacher. If I had to list ten words that came to mind when I thought of my sister they would be: Dunhill, funny, generous, cranky, food, anal, garden, gym, hair, protein. She is four years older than me, and we spent a lot of time fighting when we were younger. Now though, things are vastly improved:

ImageI saw my Dad, and also my little brother. I don’t have a photo of my brother, but here is one of Dad and I, when I was but a wee small child:

Image Ten words for Dad: Moustache, birds, golf, car, giggle, Swedish Chef, nose honk, garden, generous, kind. For my brother: Tall, quiet, brother, shack, socks, grass clippings, washing up, music, giggle, decent.

It’s generally just shy of three hours between where I live and where my sister lives, but for some reason it took my beloved and I a good five hours to get there. Five freaking hours. Can you even imagine? That is a very long trip. But where on earth did the time go?

We stopped for a cold drink, where I told the service station chick that we didn’t drink milkshakes because we never wanted to get boys in our yard.

We stopped at a craft shop, where I commented somewhat loudly on the prices.

We stopped to get my beloved a hair cut, me a coffee, and both of us some crumpets for breakfast the following day.

And somehow, someway, that added over two hours to the trip.

While I was in town, I took the opportunity to catch up with a dear friend of mine. I’ve known this chick for almost 14 years, which is a little scary. In that time, we’ve both lost our mothers, battled depression, welcomed new family members, said goodbye to others. We’ve shopped and giggled and cooked and drunk and yacked and texted. But the one thing we have never done is farted in front of each other. So you can imagine my delight when the lunchtime topic of conversation turned to her recent development of a gluten intolerance. I think the phrase “upside down volcano” was used more than once, as was the phrase “Oh, shut up!”.

But here is the other thing: She has two beautiful daughters, and for some reason I saw fit to display some of the most obnoxious, loud and horrifying belching that has ever been performed outside of a beer festival. It was crazy. The youngest daughter – blonde, big brown eyes, snuggley and so very cute – she went from stunned to giggles in one easy step. I have a feeling her Daddy is still recovering, however.

It’s funny. I was worried for ages that with Dad retiring, ‘home’ wouldn’t exist anymore. Dad had moved, and things had really changed quite significantly. Then I worked out that home isn’t always about a place.

Here are my ten words on home: Bread, groceries, familiar, smells, burping, cooking, gardening, moustache, sister, brother, dad, shops, local, history…

And I’ve gone over ten words, and I still have more.

So here it is: Home? Home isn’t about place.

Home is where the words flow.


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