Well it has been a long time since I have spent Christmas in the cold, dark English days, and yet I never realised how much I missed it until I went back this year.
For the first time in over 10 years I spent the entire Christmas with my mum, and it was good.
I flew in on the 21st Dec 2009, and straight into the snow. My plane was very light and I had all three seats in my row to myself, so being the person I am, I lifted all the arm rests, used my coat as a pillow and sprawled out across them all. This enabled me to get an hours sleep on the flight which I knew I was going to need. We landed in Heathrow without incident but not without delay.. some 2 hours late… Good job I had already phoned ahead and arranged the hire car etc.
The trip to Gt Yarmouth was fraught with tails of 6 hour journeys, and people stuck in the snow, however it seemed I was blessed that night as I drove to Gt Yarmouth without slowing down except for the obligatory road signs and junctions. The trip home was very much without incident and I made better time than I have on previously “good” days.
The first night at home I spent with my son, and finally got some sleep at 3am.
The following day, I took my son Aaron to Norwich to do some shopping, then it was back to Mum’s for dinner where I cooked “Salmon alla Shells” a little concoction I made up myself. It was greatly enjoyed by all, and I can see it will become a regular dish in Gt Yarmouth.
The evening with Aaron was interesting as we sat playing cards, something which is seems he hasn’t done much of. Mum and I taught him “pontoon” which is a version of “black jack”, it was a slow start but he seemed to get the hang of it really well.
The following day we went to my sisters, where we spent the morning and early afternoon catching up, baking etc.. Unfortunately for me this is where things went a little wrong. Aaron still calls me Dad, which i expect, the problem is he uses this to justify referring to me as “He”, “Him”, and “His”, this led to the obvious issue that everyone else started calling me “Matthew” and referring to “He”, “Him” and “His”… Whilst this was going on Aaron complained his arm was hurting again, and I had a look, a very quick check diagnosed a broken scaphoid bone, and I said he needed to go to hospital. Turns out he broke it 9 weeks earlier when he fell off his motocross bike.
We left my sisters early and headed to the hospital, where Aaron refused to go in with me stating I was an embarrassment and that it would be too embarrassing for his “dad” to go in with him. I was not pleased, and said in no uncertain terms if he didn’t I’d drop him off at his mum’s and leave him to it for Christmas. 10 minutes later, I dropped him off and went home to mum’s.
Several phone calls later and some heated words, and I agreed to come back to Aaron’s mums to drop off the presents (which was really stupid as I was going to do that anyway.) The rest of the evening I spent with the lovely Debbie, having a drink in my home village in a quaint pub called the “Jolly Farmers”. Upon returning I talked with mum about the issue and told her why I was not happy, she indicated it was hard for everyone and I should be more tolerant.. I explained that I expected it to be difficult, and I accept that people will get it wrong, however with her as an example, she had agreed to call me “M” instead of Matthew as she wasn’t ready to call me Michelle, and yet when Aaron had started she had started calling me Matthew. My sister who normally calls me Michelle, had reverted, because everyone else was… I explained to me I accept it’s difficult and people won’t get it right all the time, but it’s about trying, and getting it wrong sometimes against not trying at all, she seemed to accept what I was saying.
The following day, Christmas day, some new family joined us for dinner and mum introduced me as Michelle/Shells to them and through out Christmas day and Boxing Day mostly called me either Michelle or Shells. That really made me happy, and everyone else except Uncle John followed suit.