Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Home Is Where the Hearth Was
Mobile phones are ideal for familial communication. For the next few weeks I intend only to use a mobile phone when conversing with my immediate family, not least because when the topic under discussion (i.e. my father and his propensity to demolish/build things whenever my mother goes on holiday) gets eggy, I can do my top notch crackle, crackle the signal's not very good sound effect and ring off. You can't do that with a land line.
This morning I took a phone call from my brother. (On my mobile phone, of course.) When a conversation begins "Has Dad told you what he's done?' and ones response during the ensuing ten minutes is to say Oh shit, Oh shit, Oh shit then the sole possible action is to unplug the land line for a month or so.
My mother arrived back in England yesterday, though not - as yet - in Yorkshire, after an extended holiday with my aunt. She telephoned my brother.
Ma: I believe Brian's been staying for a few weeks?
Bro: And Trevor, Terry, John and Joe.
Ma: Who are they?
Bro: A joiner, a plumber, a plasterer and I don't know what Joe does -
Ma: WHAT HAS YOUR FATHER DONE TO MY HOUSE?
Bro: Er, Crackle, Crackle.
Ma: WHAT HAS HE DONE TO MY HOUSE???
Bro: Crackle, Crackle - Can you hear me, Mother? I can't hear you? (HANGS UP.)
In previous years, my father has stolen a third of my mother's kitchen (in order to build a WC - so he could spend pennies quickly between losing pounds - equally quickly - on horse races, I suspect), built a snooker room with a full size snooker table (upon which he currently stores his collection of antique golf clubs), annexed half of the garage to build a gym (still unused after five years), put in four bathrooms (which points towards some sort of obsession) and demolished all the walled flower beds so he could park his car more easily.
He thinks - according to my brother - that if he moves the television slightly to the left, Ma won't notice what he's demolished this time ...
I'll be incommunicado until the dust settles. (Quite literally.)