My mother

Bless her.

A couple of months ago I broke the news that I was planning to cycle round the world, solo, and would be out of the country for 4-5 years. I think most parents would take this badly. My mother’s reaction was:

“Really? Really?? Oh WOW – this is so exciting! Tell me all the details. You will make sure you go through Iraq, won’t you? Oh, I’m jealous…”

And once I’d told her all I had in mind so far, she ended the phonecall as quickly as she could, so that she could go and start spreading the news. This is what she’s like.

I thought for a long time that my mother wasn’t proud of me at all – she never praised me to my face, or gave any indication that she was impressed by my achievements. But then I found out that her Welsh-market-town social life consists predominantly of boasting and gossiping about her children’s adventures. (And since there are five of us, and we all travel a lot and have weird jobs, she has plenty of fodder.)

And she’s excelled herself. Last time I spoke to her she happily revealed that she’s told everyone in Llanidloes about my trip – to the extent that the few people she hadn’t got round to telling have started coming up to her and saying “I hear your daughter’s planning to cycle round the world…?”

Oh dear. I suppose I should get on and plan a route then.

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