Right now mum and dad live about 30 minutes from me, if you are in a car. By bus it's fifteen minutes into the town centre on foot (i.e. WALKING!) and then an hour and ten minutes pressed up against condensation-covered mucky glass windows trying not to inhale the five-year-old with ringworm next to you's coughing breath.
I've yet to take that bus ride this year.
Dad has to pretty much drive past my house to get home from work, and most definitely can wave at the building where I spend most of my days from his car. But we're busy people, you know? I have got cider to drink and boys to molest, and he likes to get home before dark to do the Mail crossword and clip his toenails in front of East Midland's Today.
But yesterday, because I knew I would literally be walking on the road as he passed, and it would have been rude not to, I asked him if he wanted to pull over for a pint. Just dad and daughter. And beer.
He had to check with the boss first of course. He is all 'chip pan on, knickers off!' to the missus on his way home every night but you had better believe that if she had said "A pint with your daughter? Don't be so ridiculous! Get home now because my bum is cold and the chips are burning!" I wouldn't have been given a second thought.
I make all kinds of jokes about how she has to walk slowly around the house for fear of tripping up over her suffocating burka or the chain linking her to the kitchen units but I can't be fooled really. When Jane says, "Well you'd better only have a cuppa tea!" he's going to be drinking tea. Recognise.
So we had this pint and it was all very lovely. He even paid, so it was worth making the effort really. And I had just tried to talk to 40 people about scriptwriting when really I don't know much about it, only what my own experience has been, and it was nice to get that off my chest.
(Someone had done me a favour, and so I said I would return it. I didn't realise that the return meant feeling like AN ABSOLUTE LEMON-ARSED TOOL for 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back. But at least I could tell dad about it. He responded by telling me I should have some business cards made up like those Sainsbury's Nectar bonus point card things. I don't think he was paying attention.)
"I suppose you'll pop me back to the end of the road then," I commanded as we slurped the dregs of our glasses and conversation. He took the hint.
"Your mum has given me some stuff to pass on to you," he told me as we walked out to the car. "There's the teapot you asked for, and then I had this idea that we'd tuppaware up some food for you over the past week as a bit of a treat. Urm. It hasn't really worked out that way though."
I eyed the bags on the backseat. "That's alright," I said. "Thanks for thinking of me."
Two minutes later and we were saying goodbyes. I grabbed the bags. "What is it then?" I asked.
"Your teapot, some cooking apples and a box of Fruit and Nut." He eyed the bag. "Well. Actually it's an opened box of Fruit and Nut that your mum has cellotaped back up again, but we thought your need to be greater than ours."
I'm sorry. Just to recap:
Half a box of Fruit and Nut.
Oh! and one more thing:
A memo I had forgotten about that said, "YOUR PARENTS ARE FUCKING BONKERS".