I’m as giddy as a kipper. It’s been an awfully long time since I last felt like this. The anticipation of waiting… can only liken it to teenage angst and anticipation of, waiting for a special night out, waiting for your boyfriend to turn up, waiting to go to that special concert… excitement, butterflies, wishing the clock to turn that bit faster.
Covid put the stop to lots of things for lots of people. For me, it’s meant I’ve gone 20 whole months since I last saw my parents, Christmas 2019. Little did we know as we said goodbye how long it would be before we’d be together again, as you reach as certain age you start to think that actually as time rolls on you don’t have that many summer’s left in you. Not that I can only see my parents in the summer, just my way of marking the years.
Anyway, I was up with the rooks, noisy bleeders. Drying bedding, making beds, running the Hoover round one last time and checking that the fridge was well stocked. I could hardly contain myself as I slurped my tea and spooned yoghurt down my neck. Bin run done. Fire extinguishers and fire bells checked. Loo rolls filled. Utility rooms cleaned, constantly checking the time.
About half past twelve I realised I didn’t actually know what car my Dad drove these days. I’d finally managed to talk my parents into coming to stay with us. I’ve no idea how long it is since they last had a holiday together. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see my Mum and Dad.
A blue car pulls into site, from our window I can only see the bonnet, but it’s hesitant, obviously not sure what to do or even if it’s in the right place. I race out, it’s them! Tears pricking my eyes I point to our parking spot. Mum unfolds herself and the dog out of the car and into the biggest hug. We were never really a huggy, feely kind of family as we were growing up, probably why I’m like I am now, I love a good hug. Covid, you deprived me of hugs too. Dad gets a squidge as he asks me where my bathroom is, somethings never change.
Dad settled into my chair, me and Mum share the settee with Peppa their expensive, walking vets prescription, she’s got almost as many ailments as my Dad has and it’s a close shot as to which one takes the most pills in a day. Dad has aged so much, he’s had a good few medical scares during the pandemic, including testing positive and being rough for a good few weeks. Today, he’s his jovial, sleepy self. He could fall asleep on a washing line and soon his head is falling off as the snores start, only to waken as we turn the tv off, and say “I was watching that!”
He can no longer walk like he used to so we drive them into Broadway and drop them off before taking the car back to site. It’s the Broadway car show this weekend and today it’s vintage cars. He’s in his element, eating ice cream and pouring over cars from way back when. Me and Mum, stroll casting admiring glances over the cars and taking in the folk that are around us. Some extremely well off, eccentric folk mooch around with glasses of bubbles.
The following day our Jellybeans came up for the day, we spent a lovely afternoon in the beer garden of a nearby village pub. So good to have my family all together, just missing my sisters, but that’ll hopefully happen in the not too distant future. God only knows why Dad insists on wearing that hat.
For tea we treated them to their first pizza from a wood fired oven followed by an evening trip to Bourton on the Water. During the day it’s heaving and attracts tourists by the thousand, I had the brain wave to go in an evening when hopefully it would be quieter. It was simply beautiful. Hardly anyone around, lights on the river and local hosteleries started to twinkle, it was just breath taking. We were able to drink in the beauty of the village and get some amazing photos without the normal hustle and bustle.
Sadly the girls had to head back but we had an amazing day making some unforgettable memories.
With Dad’s struggle to walk we decided the following day to take them on a Magical Mystery Car Tour. Taking in lots of quaint Cotswolds villages were we were able to park, potter, admire the quintessential Britishness, back to the car and onto the next Cotswold delight, ending with a drive up to Broadway Tower at the end of the afternoon. Just about managed to get Dad to stagger within shot of the Tower for a photo. Talked him out of wearing his silly hat today.
I won’t bore you with the intricacies and details of all their trip. If one thing that this last couple of years has taught me is, hug those close to you, you never know when it will have been your last hug. We don’t get that many summers in this life.