I went over to Halifax this morning to meet my mum and do some exciting admin – well, put some signatures on some paperwork, at least.
What I love about any trip I make to Halifax is that I can plan it down to the last detail and somehow still end up there way too early. And do you know what there is to do in Halifax when you’re super early for something?
Not a whole heap of much.
I had forty minutes to kill. In the olden days I would have called into Game and mooched about until someone young and spotty asked me if I was ok with the baffling array of games on display – at which point I would make the noise that means “I’ve been doing this longer than you have been alive, my friend” and then say “Yeah”. Or, if it was during a school holiday, hang about and watch how many kids got their parents to buy them an age inappropriate game because otherwise they wouldn’t be cool.
But Game has moved now. It’s slid down to the lower side of Woolshops in the parade of shops that’s probably not all that necessary given the large number of empty shops in the actual town centre these days. I mean, that can’t all become e-cig shops, surely.
Although they probably will.
A small part of me was looking at them, sizing them up for Escape Room potential. But that’s by-the-by.
Anyway, I ended up in Caffe Nero, where it was lucky that I had forty minutes to kill as they chatted to each and every customer in the queue for quite some time while I just waited, patiently-ish, for a drink. For quite some time.
And then I met mum who approached me in her brightest yellow coat looking like a tiny woman had crawled inside a Sooty costume and then, as she faffed about in her bag wanting to facilitate the trade of courgettes and other fruit and veg products, proceeded to whack me, repeatedly, in the groin with her white stick.
What I like about mum’s white stick is that it’s there as a guide, really. She holds it out to one side of her as she walks and it hits against things if she gets too near. Whether that’s a bin, lamp-post, person, car or literally anything else. Nothing is safe from the stick. At that point she’s supposed to think “Oh, my stick has hit something, I shall adjust course appropriately.”
Which I am led to believe is what she does.
Unless, it appears, she’s whacking me with it. In which case she’ll carry on until I pull her up on it.
When I’m out with mum, I take more of a hard-nosed approach to things that Carole or my aunt. I’m very much of the opinion that if I do everything for her she’ll start to lose her independence. It’s been a bone of contention for me for a while that my aunt – when she’s with my mum – tends to do everything for her and treats her a bit like an idiot. I don’t do that. I do nothing, but am always on stand-by. I still treat her like a bit of an idiot, though, because we’ve always done that and you don’t get a free pass even if you’ve had a stroke. And because there’s always the chance she’ll double over with laughter at something and become absolutely useless at everything for a short period of time.
There’s another reason I don’t link arms with her, though.
It’s easier for plausible deniability.
She’s quite prone to calling people arseholes, nowadays, if they get in her way or are in any other way inconsiderate. I tend to find it’s slightly less mortifying if you’re not holding on to her and so can distance yourself from any comments that she might make.
Today, though, she was quite well-behaved.
I mean, I think she was. I left her at the door of Boots. Anything could have happened once she got in there…