On Wednesday I will be the spectacle of one of my father's family dinners. He organised this months and months ago - as always thinking ahead - with all good intentions. This is not the problem here. We will be driving south tomorrow, 4-5 hours on the road.
He has organised it so that I have Tuesday as a day of rest and quiet before the entire clan is getting ready to gawk at me. He is paying and they will all come. Most of them will have their own concocted stories based on hearsay and they probably expect somebody worn out and doddery. So all will be pleasantly surprised to see that I still have four limbs and that I can talk and even smile and that will be that. There will be the usual general platitudes and then we'll all go back to our own homes glad we don't have to get involvd here. And my father will feel assured that I am getting better.
My sister will get lots and lots of mileage out of it, more stories so she can continue shopping for sympathy for having a sister with a chronic illness. She is a great co-sufferer. My brother will be bored, he has not been in touch at all for the entire year and why should he?
My dysfunctional family, cold and hard and unforgiving.
Hopefully all will be over and done within the space of two hours. Like any other appointment with a doctor.
So why are we driving all the way then? Why go at all? Well, it comes with a package, the fancy hotel for three nights was the bait I took together with the fact that it means R will have had a bit of a break before he is due back to work next Friday.