Mum’s cat woke me up at three in the morning. My room is where she prefers to sleep and I didn’t mind at all, until she scratched the bed and got her claw stuck. I freed her, shut her out of the room and went back to sleep. I ended up being rather decadent and staying in bed until eleven! Mum has a part-time job at the local museum so she’d gone off to work, and Willow amazingly hadn’t come barging in to get me up. In fact, she said she’d slept until ten, which made me wonder what time she went to sleep last night.
Mum’s partner John wasn’t going to live here when mum decided to move up, almost two years ago. They didn’t live together before, they each had a house in the same street. But he didn’t want to be without her either. She wasn’t moving to get away from him, she just needed to do this for her, for her retirement. She’d been stuck in the same place for such a long time and this was finally her chance to start living her life.
The village they were in before was really dead so I totally understood why she wanted to move and I supported her, but it wasn’t easy for John who had long-established friendships, and at 82 wasn’t going to be starting lots of new activities like mum. He’s eighteen years older than her, and she’s still got plenty of life left. She’s settled in so well up here, making friends, getting this job at the museum and volunteering with the lifeboats, whereas he just potters round the house or the garden, moaning about mum’s new friends and generally being a grumpy old man.
He goes back to his house every few weeks to check the post and see his friends, but he’s finally decided to sell the house and move in with my mum permanently. The trouble is, he has a rather large collection of books. 1500 in fact. To move them up here, assuming ten in a box, would take 150 boxes. They are both dreading it. So this morning he went home to make a start on sorting them out. He’ll be gone for a few days, which makes it a bit nicer for us to be here, as he doesn’t join us for any activities and he doesn’t like to watch anything Willow wants to watch on tv, whereas mum always lets her choose. She’s mum’s only grandchild and she loves spoiling her. Willow is very fond of my mum, which is the loveliest thing. She’s always keen to come up here. Hopefully next summer she’ll be able to come on her own.
We lazed around waiting for mum to come back from work, me reading and doing puzzles, and Willow playing with her new Barbie. I had thought about going to the museum to see mum but in the end, the time passed too quickly and she was back at 2pm. We all went to Lidl to choose something for dinner, and after dropping the shopping at home, we headed for the seaside.
The forecast yesterday had said it would rain all day, but by this morning it had changed to just being overcast. As mum moved up here just before Christmas and then the pandemic hit, we hadn’t actually visited when everything was open before. The funfair had a lovely holiday atmosphere now that there were people milling around and the rides were operating. I felt fearless and was keen to go on the rides, which is unlike me. I think I’d had enough of being governed by anxiety and wanted to live, feel, have adventures!
The three of us went on a very gentle rollercoaster to begin with. Then mum bought Willow a stick of candy floss, which she ate while mum and I went on the ghost train as she was too scared. It wasn’t in the least bit scary, but there was a point where it went downhill and took a photo, so when the ride finished we had a look. Oh my god. There were six screens of images, all people looking normal, and then there was us. I looked ok but mum had decided to scream for the camera and her face looked so distorted, she almost looked like some sort of alien crossed with a gibbon. We both roared with laughter.
Still feeling bold, I wanted to go on another ride, so I let Willow choose one for me. The ride she picked looked like it just went round and round, so I confidently got on. It started off gently enough and I waved each time I passed, but then it got faster, and faster, until I couldn’t really see any more and just looked down. After a while I was thinking “ok, this can stop now, I get the idea”, but of course I had to wait for it to stop spinning. I struggled to walk in a straight line when I got out, and felt dizzy for a little while afterwards, but I was proud of myself.
Time for something more sedate now though, and a visit to the arcades. The machines where you put in 2p coins and it pushes them down a shelf and they drop out the bottom, have always been my favourite. I’m sure they didn’t used to have toys inside when I was little, or at least I never won any, but today Willow won three keyrings, mum won two and I won a fidget spinner! It was very satisfying whenever I heard the chink of coins dropping out of the machine. I can see how this sort of thing could easily become addictive.
We took a walk along the seafront and came to a large sightseeing wheel. Willow wanted to go on it, mum wasn’t keen, so I went with Willow. Our little capsule rose slowly to the top, then stayed up there for absolutely ages. At first, I was grateful because it meant we got a good look at the view, but after a while I started to feel that I really would quite like to get down now please. Willow was fine so I didn’t want to say anything and worry her, and soon enough we were moving again. It went round twice more, but thankfully didn’t stop again until the end. Time to go home.
Willow had managed to get candy floss all over her clothes, so she had a shower and put her pyjamas on, while mum put her things in the wash. We ate our dinner in front of the TV, Willow chose Flushed Away for us to watch. I’ve sat through it a million times but mum hadn’t seen it before. It isn’t a bad film. When it finished, Willow piped up “what’s for pudding?” to which my mum offered chocolate. I wouldn’t normally give her sugar at bedtime but I guess we are on holiday. By the time I’d finished reading her bedtime story, it was ten o’clock and I was shattered. I went straight to bed, contented after a lovely day. It is so good to be away and doing all the things we don’t have at home. After such a long time of not being able to go out, this is so invigorating.