Thursday, 1 May 2008

A Visitor at Holiday Time


I now have a holiday today for Ascension day, I took tomorrow off on overtime (I have 125 hours at the moment) and afterwards it is the week-end, so am making the most of it. The weather is pleasant outside and I am sitting on the porch with the computer. I also have a visitor. Almost all Europe has the same holiday so my son is here until Monday. He lives in Brussels at the moment but also has a few days off, so decided to pop over for the time. Of course I love to see my son, but a certain amount of planning and organisation has to be taken into consideration to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

My son arrived yesterday evening (night) at one o'clock in the morning. He would have been at home at eleven with the direct train from Geneva airport. Unfortunately they were doing night work on the train lines from the next largest town of Grenchen, which meant he had to get on a bus that had been arranged for the purpose. Having travelled since six in the evening, he decided not to take the bus so he got himself a taxi from Grenchen, otherwise he would have got home about 3 in the morning. We didn't mind as we were up late in any case watching the football match and didn't have to go to bed early.

It starts with the photo. My son sleeps in the spare room. I like to call that room my office, because my computer is there and all other accessories I need for my daily life. The first problem was there this morning when I got up. Where was my computer - in my son's bedroom. First lesson learnt, remove the computer in the evening and keep it in the living room until he goes back to Brussels. Luckily I now have my laptop, so I managed to fit it onto the table.

The next problem with such visits is usually whether my son eats at home or has he some sort of important appointment with his friends etc. This may not seem such a problem, but for a working woman that has to plan meals it is. It means when buying food, make sure you can construct meals to cater for 3 persons (our usual no.) and be able to stretch them to 4, or another solution is buy enough for 4, but be able to use up the portion that will not be eaten because No. 2 son may be somewhere else - in a bar, a billiard hall, at a party or whatever.

Do not rely on what he says. He may say he will be at home tomorrow evening and he will really mean it, but do not count on it. He may go out in the afternoon and be delayed with some sort of important item such as meeting friends he has not seen for a couple of months, and not wanting to be unsociable he may stay with them a few hours to the early morning, catching up on the latest news. These things can happen and we must have understanding for such situations.


What does Nera want to say? She has just walked in from the garden and needs my attention.
"Yes, Mrs. Human I do want say something. If you are writing about that overgrown human kitten that is staying with us again, then I just do not think it is right."
"What is the problem Nera, you mean my son".
Nera looked a bit annoyed. "You might call him a son, but for me he is a fully grown up human two legged cat and I just don't see why he has to take over our sleeping place. Tabby is the same opinion as I am, arn't you Tabby?"
Tabby just walked in "Well Mrs. Human I have to support Nera in her statement. After all the room where that overgrown human kitten is sleeping is ours and we do like to go in and out as we please."
"Tabby, Nera, you can go in and out as you please, it is for that reason that the door is open".
My cats were both a bit annoyed.
"Tabby and I do not feel as free as usual. In the morning when you and Mr. Human get up you shut the door to our room and we cannot go in any more."
"Yes, but you both go out in the garden in the morning, so I just cannot see how "my kitten" as you call him, can get in your way".
"Mrs. Human Nera and I are members of the feline species, the master race in this world and we do not like being pushed around because an overgrown kitten suddenly decides to move in. If I had a kitten like that I would tell him to clear off and form his own territory".
"Quite right" answered Nera looking at me with her staring yellow eyes.
"We cats put our kittens in their places, and when they grow they have to go and form their own lives. Why if I had ever had kittens, I would not even recognised them any more"
"And would not want to" added Tabby "We cats have to think of filling our own mouths, the kittens can look after themselves, after all at the age of your kitten, Mrs. Human, they would probably have kittens of their own".
This highly intelligent and logical feline conversation was getting a bit too much for me.
"Tabby, Nera, just realise once and for all that Mr. Human and I are not two legged cats as you seem to think, but another species, and although it may seem strange to you both, we consider that we are in charge around here."
"Nera", said Tabby, "we have done something wrong in our education of our humans."
"Yes", answered Nera "and things seemed to be going so well with the weekly tuna on Wednesday, I think Mr. and Mrs. Human are putting this overgrown human kitten in front of us."
"on the other hand" says Tabby "she didn't give him any tuna fish yesterday when he arrived."
"You have a point there" answered Nera. "Ok Mrs. Human, your overgrown kitten can stay but on the condition that he does not eat our tuna fish ration and we can sleep in our room when we want to. In future we would like to be notified before he arrives, so that we can make our arrangements to avoid him at all possible opportunities. If he was my kitten I certainly would not give him the key to the door, but tell him to move on."
What do you do with cats like that. I explained to Nera and Tabby that my kitten is always welcome to stay and that I promised I would not given him their tuna fish ration - thank goodness my son will not be here on Wednesday tuna fish day.

My cats went out again swishing their tails as if to show that they were the bosses, and I sometimes think they are.

In the meanwhile my son has disappeared into town and told me he would be back for the evening meal as everything was closed down in town anyhow. He also reserved some room in my washing maching this evening for some bits and pieces. I am so happy that I can look after him while he is at home. I almost feel like a mother with kittens again. No, not kittens, I mean young responsible adults that like to visit hotel mama.

Son, if you ever read this blog then rest assured that you are always welcome. We can always find an egg to fry or a cervelat (Swiss sausage) to peel and make into a salad for you and disregard what the cats said, they are always ready to make room for you and I can always put my computer in another room.


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