“I’m just going to buy a coffee – please stay in the shallow end until I get back, okay? I’ll be two minutes.”
Mini-Me stared at me.
“I can swim, you know..,” she muttered as she disappeared under the water to do another handstand.
‘I know, sweetie, it’s not really you I’m concerned about,’ I thought to myself, not having the heart to explain to her that when she did her synchronized swimming in the deep end, it really looked like she was drowning. I’d hate to make another mother feel obliged to disturb her sunbathing and get off her lounger to save her.
“Look! Every. Single. Shop..! I can’t bear it! You’d think that we didn’t have anything in any other colour any more! I’m sick of the sight of red, white and blue!”
My mother carried on walking, letting me rant, years of experience meaning she simply let it wash over her, probably thinking about what she would order in the cafe we were heading to. No one else in my family bothers getting worked up, they know they can leave it to me to do a good enough job for all of them. We are, emotionally, a very efficient unit. I take on the duty of getting annoyed by stuff.
“Oh, for goodness’ sake! Look at that - there is nothing in that shop window which isn’t branded with a Union Jack!”
Just to add fuel to my already flaming fire, my mother mischievously pointed to a flyer in the window, advertising a Jubilee Street Party. She knew exactly what she was doing and I could see her trying not to smile, waiting for my reaction.