We Are All Getting Older

My mum won’t thank me for saying so. She will always be the sexy woman in her thirties to me. Bopping to Diana Ross. Driving her silver Volkswagen Rabbit like she was on parade. A thrilling, if careful, beautifully-scented one. That’s my Ma.

It hit me when she was already on the flight. How is she going to do on Quest, I suddenly thought? Because Quest can be accident trap extraordinaire, The back transom gets slippy. Especially as we all shampoo there. The companionway stairs can be named banana skin heaven. We’re used to it, but my mum won’t be – and that’s a long way down to the saloon floor.

Then there’s the bench seat. A patient predator – in the middle of the saloon, the bench seat has taken many a toenail. Bang, I’ll have your toenail, thank you very much.

I squirmed at the thought. Our own toenails can take it. The third one in my left foot has finally grown back. Ellie’s toes were fair game too since she’s a Millennial with good quality toenails… but Alicia?

Alicia doesn’t need any more health complications. They already took her temperature as she waited to enter Barbados. She passed. Meanwhile, in the three-year gap since she’s been to Quest, she had the replacement knee she spent a good amount of time waiting for. Since then, she’s moved into the next decade of her life. I won’t say which decade it is, except it rhymes with creventy.

Boy, are we glad to see her. Never mind about the suitcases – though it’s true they were awesome too. In the meantime, Delph did feel my worry. She mentioned the safest thing might be for Alicia to drop the bags off and make an exit from there.

Not for Alicia though. After 5000 miles consisting of two car trips, an inter-connecting airport coach, one substantial plane journey and a late-night dinghy ride, she climbed onto the boat, walked unhindered across the transom, and bopped down the stairs. Diana Ross was her spirit singer.

Despite the hour, she then unpacked her cases, folded the clothes neatly in her cupboard, drank a cup of tea and went to bed. Had the best night sleep ever. Lulu woke up and called her our resident snowman.

On this fine morning, Alicia is sitting on the raised helm seat at the back of the cockpit, her face pointed into the sunshine. She climbed over the dive gear to get there.

I got to go. I’m just going to dry the floor.