No it’s not a CIA inspired series for small people with fishing rods and pointy hats. I have had the privilege for more years than I care to admit, to be welcomed into a second lovely family. I tend to walk in the door, put the kettle on, do the washing up, kiss Bill, hug Maureen and read their radio times! I’ve gone to a family funeral, boxing days, and a lot of the best parties I can imagine. I hate parties – formal clothes, too much booze, endless small talk. But here I’ve played table football, pass the parcel without forfeits and card games, stood on chairs to put up balloons and made endless sandwiches. No pressure. I’ve even been to a fancy dress party and formal black tie dinner with them. Two of my worst nightmare scenarios!! Having no brothers or sisters, it’s been great gaining an extra dimension of family belonging-ness even if it is loud, extravert and you never know what’s coming next.
But the flip side is the garden. These are two of the warmest people with the craziest tastes. Gnomes, plastic donkeys, ceramic fairies, an easter island head in plastic. The gnomes are painted and repainted: some are noseless, some have collapsed faces. No gnome seems too grotesque to be thrown away. My friend spends days painting her mum’s rescue gnome collection and all I can do is sit there helpless with laughter, tea and lemon cake. At least my real first family mum only collects plastic owls. And I have “Dolly the sheep” or Hild as she got christened – she’s from a German friend. I hope she’s not going to be cloned any time soon.