Where is home? – An interlude (and ever so slight rant!)
Well, I will tell you where home is NOT – for me anyway, and that’s Bristol City!
I am aware my wife was born there, went to college there, and knows all the roads and places of interest like the back of her hand – but I don’t! And memories of happy student haunts, and Queen Victoria’s favourite church (the stonework is nearly as black as her mourning gown by the way) were pretty unwelcome when we weredriving round in circles, desperate for a road without a bus lane, or alternating cycle paths, or a flashing camera, or various other tricks and traps (never mind an actual car park!) As to the electric scooters driven by youngsters without helmets – at some speed – down the middle of those aforementioned kamikaze highways… I mean, it’s great to be young, but surely it’s even better to actually stay alive until at least middle age…?
The problems started with daughter No. 2’s late pregnancy. “ItsABoy” decided that he would not arrive on the due date (how on earth does anyone know that, anyway? And how much of medicine is informed trial and error? Discuss!). So, no cute baby last week, much to the chagrin of the French cousins, who came over especially, and only managed to press their ears to Mum’s tum for their pains.
ItsABoy then decided that this game was worth playing a bit longer. Cue my wife being stuck in their eccentric south Bristol flat all week, with no hot water or heating, in the snow, entertaining a hyper collie dog with enough energy to power a small town – if only it could be harnessed. But it can’t, and neither can the dog, so it drove her mad – it’s only a small house.
Cue me, taking time off work to look after the other grandchild concepts: a bundle of energy one year old, and a thoughtful 4 year old, whilst Mum tries to Zoom in the dining room, and I try to figure out how to entertain non-housetrained toddlers for a whole day!
ItsABoy decides to arrive a couple of weeks late on the Tuesday night, cue snow, cue mad panic to get over to Bristol on the Wednesday with enough spare clothes for both wife and self, packed into one heavy backpack…
“Don’t worry, I’ll pick you up from Bristol station” inevitably went a bit wrong, as wife had to stay in with mad dog, and wait for well overdue plumber to arrive and fix the boiler. Which he didn’t. (“I called – no answer, so I thought there was no one in” etc.) In the meantime, muggins pleads with the No. 73 bus driver to be let into the nice warm bus (no dice) so 10 min. wait in the rain, and then a half mile walk (well, climb really) up the steepest pavemented hill in England, to get to the maternity hospital. Backpack so heavy I was in serious danger of falling backwards and having to start again.
Who was that Greek character who got punished by Zeus, and had to roll that rock up the hill forever? Sisyphus, I think.
Well, in theory, Sisyphus teaches us to never give in to circumstantial disappointments, or try to escape from failures, but rather accept failures the same way we accept our achievements.
Really? Even if they build the ONLY maternity hospital in Bristol at the top of a small mountain?
But – was it all worth it?
Did any of that matter when I finally gave ItsABoy a warm, meaningful cuddle?
You bet it was worth it.
Home is where the heart is. You probably knew that already.
Have a lovely week!