Before we went to the South West, Helios had another short chat with Maia. She asked if she was invited and he said “No. I’m not up for a fight.” Now, to my mind she had a choice at this point. She could have said “Oh Dad. Don’t be silly. I don’t want a fight. I just want to see you.” Unfortunately she didn’t say that. She said “Oh that’s fine, you just pretend I don’t exist” It was a typical melodramatic and emotionally manipulative response for a 17 year old. Helios responded by saying “Fair enough”. At first I wasn’t sure if I was happy about their exchange but, ultimately, I have to agree with Helios. He is refusing to be manipulated and doesn’t want to be made to feel guilty. I figure if she really wanted a relationship with her father, there are a number of ways she could do it without the back of her hand being permanently attached to her forehead. She could go directly to him and ask for another chance. She could speak to either her brother or to me and say that she wants a relationship with her father. So far, she’s not done that – so I’m hoping that she will get in touch again when she’s mature enough to want a relationship instead of wanting to punish her father.
Despite this, I was really looking forward to seeing my English family.
Unfortunately, the traffic was so bad that a journey that takes roughly 4 hours took just over 6 that day. Next time we go to the South West on a Saturday in August, we have to make sure we leave at silly o’clock in the morning.
We stopped off to see his parents before heading down to the hotel. As always they’re just lovely. Helios’s dad is having more tests done but it’s not conclusive that he’s out of remission or if he’s still in remission. We’re holding our collective breath.
That night we had food at the restaurant around the corner from the hotel and collapsed after supper. I was exhausted and I was the passenger so I don’t know how Helios managed it!
Sunday morning we had breakfast at the hotel and left for a bit of shopping before we were due to meet Apollo. This time there was a food festival (which reminded me of The Taste of Chicago I attended years ago) along where we met Apollo last time. The weather was glorious. I was actually hot wearing trousers! We spent a few hours together. Helios got it out of Apollo that he thought Maia was being “a little silly” and Helios got the impression that Apollo was trying to be diplomatic. I make a point of not asking awkward questions of Apollo. I figure his life is difficult enough without me quizzing him.
Apollo led us to the bookshop and I took pen and paper to note things that I need to be reading. I also asked him if he’d be agreeable to Facebook Friending an old friend of mine who is now a school librarian. He seemed impressed that I would want his opinion but he’s so well-read that I’d be silly not recommending him to speak to my school librarian friend.
The Taste of the South West was a great distraction as well. We wandered around the stalls and chatted and got some nibbles and ice cream made from local sources. I know I shouldn’t have had any but I couldn’t resist a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone. It was lovely.
Once the shops closed for the evening Apollo took a bus home and Helios and I went back to the hotel room to report on progress to Helios’s parents. After a chat, we went to see Inception and then to a restaurant for food. It was great. I really enjoyed the film and it was nice to spend some quality time with my Helios.
On Monday we checked out but didn’t leave the South West straightaway. We met with Helios’s mum and the three of us went shopping. I just love it when she takes us shopping – not because she buys us things but because it’s nice to spend time with her. In fact, I sometimes feel bad when she buys us things. As lovely as it is, I don’t want to be thought of as “dependent” upon her. Not that I could ever be described as that but I don’t want to be seen like that, if you know what I mean. Helios keeps reminding me that she likes spending money and the best thing to do is smile and say “Thank you” because there’s no way to stop his mother spending money when she’s got her heart set on it.
The rest of our holiday has been spent at home. We’ve gone on a couple of long walks. One was along the canal where he and I used to go when we were dating. We walked 2 miles along the canal to the pub and then another 2 miles back to the car. We could easily park closer but that would defeat the purpose. We like looking at the wildlife and spending time with one another. We didn’t see any swans this time but enjoyed the company of Coots, Ducks and Moor Hens. We even saw a Heron but it was too quick for us to catch a photo. We enjoyed our time despite a slight sprinkle.