Friday, June 28, 2019


The marvelous thing about traveling with a wheelchair customer is that you whizz through the airport, bypassing the throngs of holidaymakers, leaving Radio Two panama hats and bejeweled toe nails in your wake, rendering even the charm-challenged RyanAir acceptable. My mother is safely on the plane and we will soon be heading to Norway. Anna, who is Latvian, Maria who lives in Braintree and monitors her fit bit (9 miles yesterday just pushing wheelchairs) and an unidentified man in hi-vis who was chuffed when I told him that if this were Mission Impossible, he would be the man to know, have ushered us through with relative ease and All Is Well. I have two Dorothy Whipple novels; one for me and one for my mother. We are off to our happy place, the enchanted island I have described so many times here. We are off to seagulls and shrimps and pine trees and the cool, blue Oslo fjord. We are off to my mother's childhood, my childhood, my children's childhood. 

My mother has bought some Rive Gauche, which had its heyday in the time of Studio 54, a scent so iconic that it brings me back to 1977 when staring at that black and Yves Klein blue bottle would make me feel tremendously sophisticated. 

It's just my mother and me for a week and I am in awe of her stamina, eschewing the wheelchair and clambering up the steps of the plane, apologizing left and right for her slowness. She is a marvel, her hands neatly manicured, her nail beds deep and enviably elegant. She doesn't use hand cream unless I remind her but her skin is still supple and smooth. We are of course dressed identically, without intending to do so; jeans (mine ripped as if I have fought wild wolves), white shirts, a red puffy waistcoat for her, a navy sweater for me. Our bags red and navy blue. We are Norwegian, of course.  🇳🇴


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