Boots, Jacket and Rellies
Ma greets the news that I am a soon-to-be-published-novelist with a variety of pigeon noises. I know she’s thrilled, but it’s just not the done thing for her to say anything that would make me or the Kid, too big for our boots. Her mother was the same; as soon as the news broke that I’d passed my eleven plus I got summoned before Nan and Grandad and warned about the perils of becoming a snob. Same again when I was offered a place at university. No lectures about sex, drugs or sausage rolls, just ‘don’t be a snob’.
Thinking about it, it was Dad who usually tackled the tricky stuff, like before my very first date assuring me that if I became pregnant I wouldn’t be turned out the house, but I ought to reflect on how it would ruin my life. Sheesh! Mind you, his tactic worked; for years I got a bit nervous if a boy so much as put his arm round me in case something flew down his sleeve and impregnated me.
Although Dad could deliver some dire warnings, he was always chuffed to bits when any of us had good news; his face would light up and he’d get a tad watery-eyed which always brought a lump to my throat too. My lovely daughters placed a star on one of the Royal Marsden's Christmas trees again, to celebrate his life - but I do miss him.
Whilst Nan would be pleased to know I haven’t outgrown my boots, I have had a really exciting week watching the progress of Turning the Tide. Funnily enough it was seeing the blurb that really thrilled me; I suppose it was the first step along the route of the book having an existence of its own. Next step, jacket design... hmm, I might have to watch my boots that day.
We’re gearing up for the relly round; six whistle-stop days of non-stop food, drink and making merry. Whilst it’s lovely to catch up with everyone, it is a bit of a marathon – only with less running. Still, we do get a few days grace before Christmas when the girls and their boyfs arrive – and then we can all start again!
Painting is 'The Tomb of St Basil' by Tom Tomos