Sunday, 7 December 2008
Well, I dunno how many sisters would fly from California to Amsterdam to Bristol, arrive Friday 12.45 lunchtime, and leave 3 AM Sunday morning, to fly back...but then its not every day you get to meet a full sister for the first time, with both of us aged over fifty...
But MINE did! Not that you'd know we were sisters or anything. We don't even look similar, ...
well, maybe just a wee bit similar?!
Seriously, I have just had the most extraordinary weekend, meeting Susie from San Jose in California who posts on here as 'Doris'.(Why Doris? gawd knows. Husband's nickname for her, I think, just as mine calls me Muriel...as they do.)
I waited at Bristol Airport, feeling nervous. And I saw myself coming out of the arrivals hall. Sort of. Of course, there are differences, like Susie is sister number three of five, and is therefore a few years younger than moi. But hey. Lucky thing. She was able to see how she'd age!
There was lots of laughter, lots of talking. Susie took Chris and I to Fitzhead, near Taunton, where Anne was waiting for us. Anne is simply great. Susie had come over partly to make sure Anne was OK meeting this extra step daughter who had appeared out of the blue...I guess she IS sort of my step-mother, or something. She has a black lab called Wren, so she MUST be OK!
Me, Anne, Susie, Wren.
It was very poignant being in Anne's house, knowing this was where my father had lived for years. Seeing his study. His room, the views from his bedroom window. He must have gazed at that so many many times. Susie and I spent a long time going through a suitcase full of photos. Pics of all of them when they were tiny. My father. My mother. It was quite tough. I have them all, will keep just a few, and then I will be going up to see Pill, the other lovely sister I met earlier this autumn, to hand over the case.
Reminder: Pill and I, October.
On top of a cupboard there was a collection of 'stones'. It turned out to be a collection of fossils my father had found years ago, and he'd sent them to be identified. There was also a comprehensive document painstakingly identifying everything. Ammonites, fossilised sea urchins... Funny thing is, my house is full of pebbles, stones, fossils. So when Anne asked if I'd like them, I was very moved. And said 'yes please...'
The sea urchin will join my prize 'find'. A similar one I found on the chalk Downs near Lewes. Funny old world.
Anne's hospitality was so lovely. Supper, then lunch, then supper... I felt so at home. Also met my Aunt Daphne. A grand lady... I was hoarse after bellowing for ages... apparently you could hear us right down the lift shaft in her flats. (She is quite deaf!)
Eeeeh. I am now emotionally exhausted.
(where it started... a while back.)