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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Wishing to shift my reputation as the family know-it-all (I’m really not, I’ve just been around the block more times than Mr Whippy so happen to know the answer to questions like, “how do you post a parcel?”) I’m trying to keep my mouth shut when Middle Child is telling Youngest about his trip.

“I’m going to Bristol to visit my friends.”

“Nice. Where is Bristol?” she says.

“Next to London,” he says. “Right on the very south coast.”

“Er… isn’t that...,” I say. “Em, nothing. Lovely.”

It’s best to let them find out for themselves isn’t it? From belly piercings that get infected (what a shame, could it be because you’re too young and Other Parent should know that) to tattoos (not that they regret them of course) that on reflection might be in the wrong place (ha, ha, telt ye) to pasta? I find it’s better if you drain the water off before serving, just saying, but feel free to serve it up with a slotted spoon if you want.

Yes, I’ve seen the eye rolling and the insertion of the ear plugs that meet my helpful suggestions.

So heading off to a city that starts with the same letter as the one you actually want to visit but is in fact 166 miles south east, why not? Who am I to carp and point at the maps stuck around the kitchen.

I run him to the airport.

“What are you going to do in Bristol?” I say by way of conversation on the way to the airport at 6am.

“Rock climbing, walking about, seeing what’s there.”

“There’s lots of street art, Banksy and…”

“Yep. Right.”

“Well, you find out what’s there and tell us when you come back,” I say.

Four days later, Youngest comes with me to pick him up at the airport because she’s missed him.

“So, how was Bristol?” she says, when he gets in the car.

“Great, went rock climbing, cooked my friends a big meal, wandered about, got a feel for the place.”

“Nice. Where is it again?”

“Right on the south coast. Next to London.” n