(Originally written on 29th December 2008)
It takes 4 hours to drive to Helios’ family. Unfortunately his parents live in a one-bedroom flat and his sister also lives in a flat. This means that when we visit we stay in a local motel in the city centre at “The Barbican” where there are a vast number of restaurants, pubs, the sea-life centre, fudge shops, a large military presence and a couple of nightclubs.
This time we visited we took down our presents for his family and spent the afternoon with his parents. I’ve said before I like his parents. His dad is in his 80s, is in remission with cancer (touch wood – as they say here). His mum is in her 60s and still works. She has more energy in her little finger than I have in my entire body at the moment – and she looks great. I think she’s only a UK size 10 (which is US size 6). I wish I had that much energy – but now that I’m off the HRT I’m really feeling exhausted all the time…
We also regularly see his oldest friend when we go down. This time was no exception. They practically grew up together. Helios’ dad said “Oh, where you’ve got one you’ll find the other.” The three of us met up for a couple of drinks after dinner and I went back to the room so that they could have a little time together “just blokes”. They always seem very comfortable around me but I know that sometimes a lady can hinder conversation.
The worst thing about travelling to see Helios’ family is the drive. I don’t do the driving but I still find it terribly tiring. I’ve never been able to sleep while travelling so no matter how little sleep I get normally I just can’t relax enough to fall asleep in a car or in a train or in a plane. I therefore went back to our hotel room and let the guys have another drink – they walked me back first and then I sat watching Top Gear waiting for Helios to come back to me.
Trouble is once I relax no one is waking me up. I once went away on a “Management Team Building” exercise with Ramman. We were only given one room key so I was expecting him to walk me back to the room when I said that I was tired but he didn’t bother so I fell asleep and awoke when he stumbled in the room after getting the night staff at the hotel to let him into our room. He claimed that he’d been pounding on the door for about 5 minutes! I took that as a lesson for myself and nowadays I make sure to stay awake long enough for Helios to come back. Luckily he’s a good bloke and didn’t make me wait too long.
Anyway, I’m back home again and I’m wishing that we could visit Helios’ family more often.