For the first time, I’m in London without my mum here or my aunt Ela next door. It’s like home without the parents… except I’m in my forties and not drinking or smoking. Yay! Break out the cookies.. except I’m in a diet. I’m really holding it up for the Gen Xers.
The task: to look after two houses, three cats and my grandmother, Wanda. Remember her? The one we dubbed the toddler. Well, she’s our toddler.
My mum and Ela spent the last week packing one overflowing suitcase for two glorious days in France. I drove them to Gatwick Airport on Friday morning. I drove my mum’s car too which turns out to be a very nice car. It should be nice, but the way my mum usually drives it is so brake-happy, I started to imagine this was the way it actually drove. Turns out it really is her foot.
‘Be careful!’ ‘Keep two hands on the wheel!’ ‘Don’t turn so quickly!’ Yep, that was the kind of conversation we were having at 5am. Which was ok, since they were so happy to be going. These two used to travel a lot together. It’s nice to see them now on the move.
I parked my mum’s car at Gatwick’s drop off point. Got the suitcase out of the car and stared at the twins on the pavement. It was time. I fixed them with my eyes. ‘Ok. Do not get hurt. I will not be happy if you do. Look after each other at all times and do not fight. Is that clear?’
Mum and Ela looked back with bemused shock. ‘Is that how you talk to your girls?’
‘Yep. And you two get the same speech. Now are you going to agree with me or not?’
Mock salute in return. Ok. Time for me to go home.
I’ll say it again – three cats, two houses and one grandmother. Luckily I’ve had Delph with me to help. One cat. Filip, is very old and super scraggly. All he does is eat. After he eats he goes upstairs in Ela’s house and pisses in either the bedroom or the bathroom. He costs a lot of money in food and pays it back with urine. Sometimes he craps too.
Thankfully the other cats are younger and more pleasant. One of them – the boy, Sydney, will cry unless you sleep with him though. It’s nighttime and I’ve just let him in. He’s parked himself in the middle of the bed and filled the computer screen with cat hair. The third cat, Molly is the easily the smartest of the three. She only comes when interesting food is being dished out or she needs some kind of eye-eye contact. Her eyes are the colour of key lime pie.
Then there’s my grandma Wanda. She eats breakfast in bed, gets dressed around 11am, takes herself for a walk around the block and settles down to the radio/reading/crossword puzzles/Polish tv. She goes to bed as late as she can get away with. I have to make sure she gets her medicine and keep an eye on her general well-being.
I hope those girls are enjoying themselves. They deserve it!