“Is there any particular reason,” asks The Sister, coming into The Parents’ living room with a puzzled expression on her face, “why there were two packets of ham sitting at the front door?”
The Parents look completely unperturbed as she sets the two mysterious packets of sliced ham on the coffee table. It is almost as if it is normal for cured meat products to appear at the front door with no explanation whatsoever. They shrug, and The Sister looks dubiously at the ham in question before retreating to the kitchen to make a ham sandwich.
It is good to be back. Everything and everyone is just as bonkers as I recall. Kat the Cat is Fat Kat now, and a little miffed at me for taking off for a year, but otherwise much the same. Everyone drives on the wrong side of the road and goes round roundabouts in an alarming clockwise manner. There are Irons’ sausage rolls and Tayto cheese and onion crisps. All is well.
I’ve just come back from visiting The Grandparents with The Parents, which was as surreal as ever. They reminisced about days gone by, and I did well in not succumbing to the giggles until the point at which Granny said “Aye, thon wee man had some disease or somethin’, did he not? What was it, now?” – she paused seriously and thoughtfully – “The clap?”
My drink suddenly tried to exit my body through my nostrils, and I lost all dignity, the giggles becoming decidedly more pronounced when Granda added “Poor wee man, him wi’ polio and now you tellin’ everybody he had the clap!”
It is nice to know that some things never change, and that no matter how long you go away for, your family will always be just as you remember them by the time you get back…