I stepped through my front door at 10 Am on Friday morning into my overheated house and was reminded again of my cousin’s visit, and how the Lancaster weather hadn’t impressed them. Well, it was colder than on previous weeks, so we’d kept the central heating on. Now, they were on the train, headed back to London. If I lived in Nigeria, or even in London, I’d see a lot more of my family; but not in Lancaster. My first complaint was that two days was not long enough for a visit.
There were three of them this time. The oldest was 21 and the youngest 13. The 13 year old was a boy, the eldest his sister, and the 20 year old, their first cousin. The eldest studies in the States, but the others are in Nigeria. Does that sound as complicated as working out the qualifiers after the second game of the World Cup group stages?
I’d envisioned that during their first independent trip to Lancaster, we’d visit the touristy places, Williamson’s Park, the Lake District, museums, Dalton Square, and so on. I soon found out that what we enjoyed most was just catching up. So we talked, as we went for a takeaway on Wednesday, or in the Uni the next day. I learned about home, their parents, their studies, their views on life etc, and they wanted to know about me, what kept me in Lancaster, when I’d be visiting next.
Then, they turned my house the right way up. I’d done some tidying in anticipation of their arrival, but they were obviously dissatisfied with my efforts. As a bachelor, I sometimes do not feel accountable to anyone to put all my books in the study or to eat proper meals at the right time. By the time they’d finished, I could walk round my bedroom without stepping on Braille books. And as for my fridge/freezer! The raw materials have been converted to cooked food, ready for eating. I kept saying to them, ‘you’re here to enjoy yourselves’ and they kept saying ‘we are enjoying’.
So, I switched off the central heating. The television was not blaring Sky channel 201, there was no animated conversation. As I went to get my prepared breakfast, the house somehow didn’t feel right.
I still feel that two days was not long enough, but I suppose there were other family members to visit. As for me, I’m glad I took the time off to really enjoy myself. If you want to see the transformed house and well stocked fridge/freezer, I’m charging an admission fee. Hurry!
Thanks to Ore, Damola and Toba