The annual family fireworks get together was a lot more rewarding this year.
So firstly, I’ve been away for a while. To anyone who’s been looking out for new posts I apologise at my lack of activity.
I’ve always been under the assumption that you can only truly be yourself when you’re around closest friends; Those nearest and dearest who know all of your ‘quirky’ bad habits and your disastrous ‘imperfections’ that you may keep away from the public eye. Rest assured, I have many and I’ve always tended to portray a little bit of a different persona from the real me when entertaining family and guests. That’s not because I’m ashamed of who i am! Far from it, but I have family from different styles of upbringing and culture (Irish, Catholic, London, Country etc), so certain subjects and topics are usually frowned upon or avoided when we’re in our masses as a family.
Last Saturday was the annual family get together for the local Rye fireworks night. It was a pretty good turnout with about 75% of the family there (with ours that’s a pretty high figure :-), fallouts are common!) Unfortunately the procession leading up to the fireworks was mediocre in comparison to previous years, from what a remember a 45 minute procession was around the norm, but this year only a few bonfire societies and 2 floats trundled by, which made for pretty terrible viewing. A wet and windy day led to the sky being extremely smoggy from the wet timber that was on the bonfire, which resulted in the fireworks being hidden from vision. This was a double shame as a local hero, who went by the name of Jimper, was having his ashes sent up and scattered with the last firework and nobody got to see. Although the niece was extremely excited still so all was not lost.
Anyway, this is an annual get together and before all the hoo-ha started with the fireworks we all made our way down to Nan’s for a nice big buffet of hot and cold food and drink; Tea’s and coffee’s by the dozen, chilli, spag-bol, sausages, crisps, nibbles, it’s all there! Once fed and watered we all crowded around in the living room and people broke off into their own smaller conversation groups. Now my Nan, bless her soul, is an Irish Catholic who’s been brought up in a traditional manner away from all of the atrocities we surround ourselves with these days (so you can imagine the sort of things you wouldn’t normally speak about around her, drugs, sex, atheism etc), and she was now sitting there in amidst this conversation that everyone decided they would like to pipe-up on. I won’t go into too much detail but the conversation started by one member of family complaining that my Auntie had put the household Internet on lock-down due to ‘someone’ in the household going onto too many naughty adult sites. What followed was possibly the funniest part; the first person who was caught out was her partner, which led to everyone having a bit of banter. Our youngest cousin was the next victim of the lock-down and that’s where the conversation took a bit of a turn for the more cringey side, (I’m Lol-ing so hard right now, more-so for the look that was on my Nan’s face) it turned out that the sites that had been visited were for cartoon adult sites. Everybody was now laughing and making jokes at each other expense and generally having a really good laugh about it, except my Nan of course who just looked a little shocked. It turned into one of those would-be horrendous dinner topics, yet it seemed so normal and nobody seemed to be alienated or to be in any form of discomfort.
It was at this moment, I leant back in my chair and took a moment for realisation and evaluation. No matter who I am, what I do or how I portray myself, no matter how strange or cringey the topic, I (and everyone else) can truly be myself and will be accepted within my family. I’m not an overly emotional person, but this realisation sent a really powerful warming feeling to me. This statement may seem a little obvious to some of you, or a million miles away from the truth for some of you, after all we’re all different and the same goes for our families. I guess it was just a really nice evening and I realised that, even though they’ll always be there for me, I probably take my family for granted a lot more than I should.
As I’ve been away I’ve got a couple of relative quotes too 😉
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox
“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” – Charles Kuralt
Until next time,