Sunday, January 30, 2005

Hanging at the homestead

So my parents went away for the weekend, and because we were unable to join them on their trip, they invited us, as always, to drop in to the homestead while they were away.

(It's not a real homestead, of course - just a regular house in the 'burbs, with quite a lot of garden. But since I don't live there anymore, and The Trouser's family home is a "compound", I like to think of it as a homestead.)

Usually when the parentals trip off somewhere and extend the invitation to make use of the homestead in their absence, we don't. But due to the hot weather yesterday and a distinct lack of holidays in recent memory (or the forseeable future), we decided it might be a good idea.

It had been a busy day - brunch at my favourite place, seeking out more lovely Poole, running other errands... We were hot and grumpy and restless, so we invited a couple friends over for dinner, got the groceries, and headed out to the 'burbs.

As we arrived, we noticed the strategically-placed lawnmower, car and random gardening implements, designed to convince lame-brained would-be burglars that the residents were, in fact, home. (Even though the implements etc. would not have moved in the past few days.) Yes, we were definitely at the homestead.

It is funny to go back to your childhood home as a visiting adult, but even funnier to then treat it as your home, even though it isn't. It was a damn sight harder to find things though - although much hadn't changed, the location of some of the kitchen implements had.

Anyway, it was quite a pleasant evening. I found the peace and quiet a little eerie, though. The homestead sits in a really quiet spot, so it isn't just typical suburban quiet - it's so quiet that it makes regular suburbia seem noisy. So unless the neighbours really shout, or a boy racer drags down the road, you don't hear much at all.

The only thing I really, really objected to (apart from being stuck doing all the kitchen duties, grrr) was the proliferation of insect life. Not just the crazy swarms of flies, but also the mad, mad swarms of mosquitoes (that seemed to descend on me and only me). Eating outside is all very well, and fine when the table is clean (thanks, Trouser!) and you are not getting eaten alive simultaneously. Unfortunately I am obviously delicious to mosquitoes, so I always get nibbled on.

Living in a more urban area, we really don't get the bugs at home. The odd fly, and a couple of mosquitoes on a really hot night - but not everywhere all the time. I really don't miss that.

Anyway, hanging at the homestead was a good idea. But next time I think we'll get takeaways or I'll make someone else do the cooking, and I will eat inside, protected from the bloodthirsty mosquitoes.


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