Minecraft tutorials and 80th birthdays

children playing on an electronic device


I have finally watched ‘Home’ after promising to do so most of the week. I am none the wiser. I fear the generation gap has widened significantly since daughters one, two and three were born. Back in the day we watched ET on a loop and High School the Musical. Now only son’s main interest is purple-haired guy playing a boring computer game and the daughters seem to be for ever in the midst of some endless Netflix serial which I just don’t have time to get to grips with. Yesterday only son has promised to give me yet another Minecraft tutorial. He said that we could watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid the first film to relax afterwards. I suggested swimming. I know where I am with swimming.

I have had complaints from various people in the family that I am fitting them into my day. The truth is, though, that my day is fairly full and there’s not much I can do about that. Daughter one had an appointment on Saturday morning which I had agreed to take her to. Daughter three was going with my partner to pick up her new glasses. I had to be back for my aunt’s 80th birthday celebration at lunchtime.

I was going with my mum and we’d arranged to leave around 12. My mum doesn’t like being late. She arrived at our house around 10.30am. I was still waiting for daughter one 20 minutes away, reading a book about the ongoing challenges for women’s equality, as you do, and catching up with back copies of the newspaper.

Daughter one was a little bit longer than anticipated so we got back just after midday. I could sense that my mum was slightly on edge, although we still had over an hour to get to my aunt’s. The route, however, involved the M25 which is always an unknowable factor. I had very little petrol due to various outings the day before so I suggested going an alternative route which had a petrol station. There was a lot of traffic. I could sense my mum’s breathing getting shallower. I backtracked and got caught in a road works situation. Oh dear. We hadn’t even got near the M25 yet.

We refuelled and hit the motorway and for once it was all clear. Bingo! We were there in half an hour and walked into the party to see my cousin who lives in Spain who I haven’t seen for years. She lived with us on several occasions when we were growing up and we used to put on plays for our long-suffering mothers. We did fairytales, pantomimes, in-depth social dramas with puppets and much more. I got my stepbrothers to play the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella. We also used to sneak out at night and lie in the garden looking up at the stars. It’s a strange thing how time just slips by.

There were more cousins at the party, many of whom I also hadn’t seen for a while and all the aunties. Even so, I know an awful lot about what has been happening to them because word travels round the internal family networks. My auntie told me stuff about myself that even I didn’t remember I’d done.

There were photos projected on the wall of the family through the ages. “We should do this more often,” I said to one of my cousins. We used to meet up regularly at my aunt’s house when my grandmother was alive, but there hasn’t been a big event in a few years and it’s now the next generation’s turn to get everyone together. Three of us cousins have already set up a whatsapp group. We’re on the case.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.

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