Let's clear up one matter, before we start, ok? I love my Mum. No ifs, buts or maybes ... I love my Mum the way we all do. That I also admire and respect her is quite another thing, those are earned, not given as right, because she's my Mum, y'understand.
So imagine my surprise when I get online, and start chatting to my son, Tom, who has just returned from two weeks in France with my Mum and Dad (and his brother, who is still there, and assorted other friends and relatives).
So Tom says to me ...... Nanny wants me to tell you something. Oh shit .... what did I do now? At 47, the words *Nanny wants me to tell you something* are redolent with memories of yesteryear. Not the wonderful memories, the nostalgis of childhood, but the *Steven you better get yourself in here quicksmart before you get into more trouble than you are already in*, kind of memory.
I wouldn't mind, but she is 5000 miles away, so what can she actually do? Well, quite a lot it seems :)
It turns out that Tom is to speak to me about all the weight I have accumulated since I took it upon myself to go live in the Land of the Burger.
It would appear that the various Clan members have been gathered around whatever kitchen table my Mum has, and have been discussing, doubtless among other things, like the length of my toenails; the appearance of a substantial gain in avoirdupois, in the Christmas picture they all received. Indeed, it is even possible the word ginormous made it's unfortunate way into a sentence that also included the word Steve.
So, at this point in the conversation with Tom I am half amused, half cross and half relieved. The Europeans will realise that is three halves .... many Americans won't, given their unwelcome position at the lower end of the world academic acheivement ladder.
Tom also informed me that son number two, Joe, had a few things to say to me, so I got on the phone. Our free calls to Europe are a mixed blessing! Joe tells me I have to avoid eating any more Krispy Kremes. I tell him that sometimes it is only Krispy Kreme that keeps me here. I also tell him that I have actually LOST weight since I arrived in the country of the Big Burger. When I left the UK I tipped the scales at a not inconsiderable 196 lbs (89 kg), and now weigh in at a slender 174 lb (79 kg). Indeed, I can now get into a 32" waist, and haven't weighed so little since I was about 30.
I did speak to Mum ..... she seemed entirely amused by the whole thing. I also spoke to my dear sister, who clearly took the view that the camera wasn't lying. My sister is called Sue. I refrained from reminding her that when she rolled back into England from a year in Australia, we called her Suet. I wouldn't be so unkind.
Jeez I love the lot of them, and I miss them.