Going to the In laws

My MIL rang last week and asked to speak to L.

They had a fairly lengthy chat on the phone and L kept saying she would be delighted and how wonderful and stuff like that.

Eventually she got off the and said “I have been invited to Cynthia and Bills for the weekend. Cynthia says you are to drop me off, but if you are not working you are more than welcome to stay” She went on “They are having the all the family together for a meal on Saturday night. I really think she and Bill would like you to be there, but if you can’t go they will understand” ” she rattled on.

“I am sure I will be free this weekend so I will ring them back and tell them I will stay” I said

“Oh no its OK I will tell her when we speak tomorrow”

“Why are you speaking to her tomorrow?”

“We speak everyday on the phone”

“You do?”

“Yes of course we do, ever since I went to the theatre with them, why do you pull that funny face”

“What funny face, well erm I didn’t realise and just suppose…” I muttered.

Now as I have said before I get on well with Cynthia the MIL and Bill the FIL. In general we speak a couple of times a month on the dog and bone when I am in residence in the UK. In fact thinking about it I don’t remember the late Mrs Norman talking to her mother that often. I decided not to say anything, after all it was really none of my business if Cynthia and L got on so well. In fact I was rather pleased they did.
The weekend arrived and we headed off to Berkshire down the M4. Just us of course, there wasn’t another car on the road apart from the other 7million. The in laws live in a very nice gig old house near Newbury which Cynthia inherited it from her parents. It sort of represents a time gone by, because not only are there 6 bedrooms but there is also a small “Staff wing”. In fact if you have ever seen the film Howards End, the house is very much like that. If you haven’t seen the film I would not suggest you go and watch it just to get an idea of what I am on about. Probably easier to look it up on Goolie or whatever.

Needles to say L was bowled over by the Englishness of the house and gardens. To be fair they keep them very nice, a bit prizzy maybe for my taste, but each to there own. There is a summer house in the garden where some of the kids kip depending on the time of year but otherwise they are let loose to run a muck in the staff wing.

Cynthia, bears a very strong resemblance to the actress who plays the mother in the Brigette Jones films. Character wise she is a sort of melange between Mrs Jones and Sybil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers. Bill my FIL is a dead ringer in looks and manner for the late John Le Mesurier AKA Sgt Wilson in Dads Army. He is a really cool easy going bloke. A real diamond. They had four children two boys and two girls.

All the children married and have produced kids except for Helen the SIL. Shes a bit moody sometimes but on the whole not a bad lass. She married a right donkey and they split up about 6 or 8 months ago. I was away at the time so missed all the dramas. I think it was a real blessing for her. Anyway a few weeks later she has taken up with a new bloke. All very sudden me thinks, for someone who was apparently distraught over the loss of her love. I would go so far as to say that I thought the the two love birds may well have been at it before donkey went off to star in another Shrek film. I know, I am just bad minded. He new bloke is a bit of a prawn but quite likeable. He reminds me of a character who used to be on TV called Swiss Tony. I never saw the programme at the time, but somebody bought me the series on DVD as a birthday present. Fuck me what a load of detail that was
I get on OK with the two BILs, but BIL1 is an accountant and a bit serious and full of himself but deep down is OK. His problem is that he has a right stuck up trout for a wife called Dawn. She is a total Fun Sucker and Fuck me she gets right on my tits and I have never been able to hide it. She makes me spit bullets. I get cross just thinking about her.
Moving on. BIL2 is a pretty good bloke and a bit of what one might describe as “A bit of a Card” his missus is more than OK. Quite a sexy little number the truth be known in my book. Not skinny but womanly, nay Rubenesque and has a cracking pair of bosoms. She has a good sense of humour, very easy going and tolerant (fortunately for BIL2) and enjoys a drink. She and BIL2 were really kind to me after the accident. I cannot tell you how much they did for me.

BIL1 was Ok at the time, but to be fair it wasn’t his problem and I think he has enough of his own to keepo him ticking along.
OK so L and I were the last to arrive. I thought L looked a little nervous and was a little quiet as we pulled up into the gravel drive. I was just about to giver her hand a alitle squeeze as we came to a stop but MIL was out of the house and at the car. She almost dragged L from the car and gave her a big hug yabbering welcomes and then kissed L on the cheek and smiled so much I thought her mouth would split. L visible relaxed at the the warmth of the welcome. I got a ” Hello Norman dear” and a wave of the hand. She meant no offence, she is far to gracious and kind to do that, she was just preoccupied with L.

MIL & L walked into the main room where everyone was gathered.

“Everyone please” MIL commanded clapping her hands together. Everyone fell silent for she who must be obeyed.

“This is L…You are to consider her one of the family. She is a long way from home and I expect you to treat her like she is your sister ” and then in front of everyone she embraced L and then held her face in both hands and kissed her gently on the lips just like a mother kisses her child. The rest of us stood and gawked for what seemed like and age but in reality must have only been a few milliseconds because I have never seen Cynthia kiss anyone on the lips except very occasionally Bill.

There was silence and I think we all understood something. I cant tell you quite what it was, but it was one of those powerful moments that separates humans from other animals. It was that element that bonds us. It was just so powerful.
Then the children saw me “UNCLE NORMAN UNCLE NORMAN” they yelled and there was stampede of little bodies which then turned into a cross between British Bulldogs and a rugby scrum as the little monkeys charged at me and grabbed me legs, arms and hands. Little Christopher jumped on my back and tried – quite successfully actually – to strangle me whilst Rupert – what a fucking name, guess whose kid he is? – attempted to pull my bollocks off.

“Oh yes and as you may have gathered Norman is here too” announced MIL. “Don’t get them too excited before dinner please Norman”
If I could have spoken I would have something witty in response. I think.
Instead of being witty, I lumbered into the room encrusted with kids to say my hellos.

One Response to “Going to the In laws”

  1. dl says:

    Lovely tale of families and family life.

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