The highlight of the Mothership Reunion was seeing her try to use an eyelash curler.
My sister and I gave her a mini makeover – I was on hair, Rhi on makeup. In hindsight it might have been a bit insulting: Yo Mum! Haven’t seen you in a year, what the hell are you wearing?! Let us spruce you up! But she really loved getting pampered after a few weeks of Cruise Casual.
Except for the eyelash curler. I could have watched her snapping it at her face all day. What is this contraption? Like this? Ow! Crikey! Ow!
Turns out she didn’t need the curlers – she has disgustingly long, lush lashes. I’ve not inherited them nor had I noticed hers before. That made me feel a little sad. You don’t get these details over Skype or email.
The last day of the Reunion happened to be ten years since Poppy – Mum’s dad, our grandfather, obv. – passed away. He was in our thoughts and conversations all weekend. As Rhi dusted Mum’s nose with powder I saw the family resemblance alive in their dark eyes and big laughs and my heart just cracked.
I miss him as fiercely as I did a decade ago. Not only for his intelligence and warped humour, but because I like the way he did things. He made it feel okay to carry a little spark inside you; to want to make things and go places. And I miss the way he made my grandmother smile.
I wish I’d been able to know him when I was a adult. He got ill as I finished high school. How would we have got along? Would he have come to Scotland for a visit? Would he and Gareth have bonded over their love of motorbikes?
I can’t remember where I was going with this; I’ve wandered off again. In summary: it was bloody brilliant to finally hang out with my mum and sister at the same time. And I need a visit back home to Oz soon. Least of all to make sure Mum’s following our beauty advice!