So mum and Auntie took the train up to Coventry very early this morning, and dad drove off to London – which means that the house is empty again, except for me and Mark and the dogs. I never said it was quiet, just more empty than it has been for the last couple of days.
I’m always at a loss for what to do when people get emotional, so yesterday when we said good bye for now, mum gave a little cry and a sort of “oh look at you two”, I felt quite awkward and didn’t know what to say or do. I never do. It doesn’t really matter if it is when she is angry with me and blows a fuse, or when she is maudlin.
Dad sort of just pats me quickly on the shoulder, and goes “Oh right, good job” when he wants to say something nice. Well, he didn’t yesterday because I think he’s as uncomfortable about emotional outbursts as I can be. He should be more used to it since I’m a walking tinder-keg, just like mum.
They’ll all be gone now for a few days, and then they’ll come back next week. It’s kind of weird since I still have to go to school and all, and still have to do all the homework, and then you have the circus in town. It makes for a different kind of routine.
But I’m glad they came. It was good seeing them again. Really good. And things have gone well this time. The only thing I’m not happy about is that in the end Maria didn’t come. She caught some bug, and had to stay at home, and while I’ve tried to give hear old-wives recipes over the internet I miss having her here. It would have been awesome.
We never did get the new sofa in time for my parents visit, which means we’re heading out today as well to see if we can find anything. Unfortunately, the stylish ones I want tend to come with a price tag that is too high, and that leaves the ugly ones – and I’m feeling a certain resistance against exchanging one hideous sofa for another. I never knew there were so many ugly sofas in the world, and like navel lint seek out the navel, they all congregate in the second hand shops.
I would like to get this settled before they come back. While they don’t disapprove of our style, exactly, it would be nice to have our own nice sofa in the room that we spend most of our time in when they’re here. I have to resist an urge to shoo everyone out and close the door and nail it shut. It would be better if we all sat on the bed upstairs, than in that monstrosity. Maybe I’m turning into a gay stereotype?
I will worry endlessly that the cover that we throw over the sofa is not llama-hair cloth from Dior, or that the wine glasses are not from Kosta-Boda, or that the plates are not Iitalla but Ikea. When I become a rich writer and can buy my medieval castle, you know what I will do.
I will absolutely obsess over the origin of every single item carried over the moat and the drawbridge. I will be horrible, and we will be afraid to even look at the simple water glasses because they will be individually insured for some obscene value. I can see it so clearly.
The only thing remotely Irish about me is my first name. Colin. Or Coileáin as is on of the original roots of the name. I find it amusing that ‘Coileáin’ means whelp, or pup. So even my name patronises me.
Alas, it was the name of my grandfather, so I don’t think my parents were particularly inspired by things like this day, or inspired to mock me forever when they sweated over what to call me all those years ago. Today is of course St Patrick’s,
Since we have a couple of friends with more Irish connection than me, we’re going over to them this evening to have some nice-time on this day. Mark does actually have a bit of the Irish in him. But it’s probably quite diluted by now.
We have to dress green, and drink a bunch of Guinness, and maybe drink some of that Tullamore Dew that they call whiskey. I think I’ll skip the whisky, to be honest. I’m not a great fan of hard liquor. I prefer softer stuff. The only time I’ve drunk spirits, I’ve become very drunk, and have spent the day after feeling terrible.