March 12th, 1989
When I got home from my bike ride this afternoon, mum was sitting in the phone chair with her legs crossed, looking very comfortable.
“Aye, come up and see us soon son, Tom and I would like to see you again,” she said, standing up.
Mum passed the receiver to me and I quietly asked her who it was but all she said was, “you’ll see.”
“Good God McGarr, that woman can talk.”
I laughed. “You poor thing, how long have you been on the phone?”
“About twenty minutes.”
“You’re getting off lightly today.”
“There is absolutely nothing I don’t know about you now.” He slurred his words slightly.
“Anyway, how are you?” he asked.
Situating myself in the still warm chair, I said, “Very well, thanks. How are you on this lovely sunny Sunday?”
“Most excellent. Just had lunch at The Harrow with the boys, they’re all asking when you’re coming to visit again.”
“Washed down with a few pints I imagine?”
“Had to be done, McGarr. Sunday roast and all that.”
“Well, of course.”
“So, when are you coming to visit?” he asked.
“Soon, I imagine.”
“I’d offer to come and pick you up but a, I’ve had a few beers and b your mum already told me you start standby in a few hours.”
“Yes, twelve hour standby, I’m sure she explained it to you?”
“She did but she was talking so fast, I only caught half of what she said.”
“It means I’ll get at least twelve hours’ notice of a trip.”
“And that could be to anywhere in the world?”
“Any of the routes the TriStar flies. I won’t be licensed to fly on the seven four seven for another few months.”
“Hopefully you’ll have a car by then,” he laughed.
“Why are you hesitant to get a car?”
“This will sound silly to you, but I’m nervous about driving.”
“The motorways I’ll be driving on are the busiest in the country.”
“Yeah but you’ll be fine in no time. Once you do it a few times it’ll become old hat.”
I sighed, “I hope so.”
“McGarr, you’re about to start flying all over the world but you’re worried about driving?”
“It does sound silly when you put it like that.”
“No, not silly but just keep it in perspective. And remember how horrendous it was carrying your suitcase on the London underground.”
“Ugh. You’re right. I’m sure I’ll be fine once I get used to it.”
“I know you will. I’m on the car search, so put some time aside so you can come and take a look.”
“But not today?”
“Definitely not today.”