Family: Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS JANET CHRISTIE , MAGAZINE WRITER
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If Middle’s going Down Under so are we

“I’m going to Australia in June for a year,” is today’s.

“Aw, but I’ll miss you if you go to Australia for a year,” I say.

“So?” he says and sniggers.

“What?”

“I mean, I’ll miss you too, obviously,” he corrects, “but well…”

He hands me a smoothie.

“Nice. What’s in it?”

“Mango, avocado, pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and grapes.” More fruit than I’ve had in a week. He’s the family foodie. How will we cope if he takes off again?

“It’ll be back to baked potatoes and grated cheese,” I say.

“Your baked potatoes are THE BEST,” says Youngest, loyally, floating in wearing a top and jeans that appear to be entirely constructed of rips. “Your best meal.”

True.

“Aren’t you cold? It’s frosty outside.”

“NO.” Eye roll. “And your fish pie last night was the best meal I’ve ever had in my WHOLE LIFE,” she says. “Can I have that for my birthday please?”

“‘Course.”

Middle is stashing three carrier bags full of healthy-looking items in the fridge.

“You just go to the supermarket reduced section on a Sunday and buy up all the fruit. Easy. You’ll manage,” he says, businesslike.

“Your brother’s going to Australia for a year,” I say to Youngest. “Want to go and visit?”

“Too hot. I’ll die.”

“We could go in their winter when it’s cooler. Take you and Eldest. Bit pricey though.”

“OK. Tops and shorts I think.” She disappears to peruse outfits with even less fabric, if that were possible.

“You can stay with me,” says Middle. “I’ll get work and I’ll have a space to live. I’ll sleep on the floor. You three can have the bed. There’s always a way.”

Cosy. OK, I’m adjusting to the idea. Maybe we could stretch to a trip somehow if I start saving now. It’s not so bad.

Time for another bombshell.

“Then I’m going to drive back through Asia and Eastern Europe,” says Middle. “Visit all my friends...”

“Drive back through Asia? You will not be driving back through any Asia and Eastern Europe! I’ll never sleep...”

But he’s already gone.