Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bizarre weather and odd family

We've been watching news coverage of the horrendous fires around
Melbourne in Australia, and the continuing heat wave there (47 deg C)
~ what an awful nightmare to have to live in searing heat like that.
And then our own weather forecast straight after the news ... our
winter freeze is continuing this week with snow blizzards in the
south of England coming our way, in the next 24 hours or so. What
a contrast. However, I'd rather live here well wrapped up in extra
layers, than sweating it out in the desert heat of Australia.

One of my sisters (S) is coming over to visit us this week, driving all
the way from Strasbourg in France. This has become an annual trip for
her ~ to visit various family members here and a few old schoolfriends
of hers.

S is slightly younger than me (or "than I" if you prefer), and we were
great playmates as children. It was great to meet her girlfriends when
I was a teenager, as I went to a single-sex secondary school (as did S.).
I was very shy of girls then, and my social skills are still not very

During our university days and after S moved to France as a career
move (and later married a French bloke), we've seen less and less of
each other. Now we just exchange the occasional email and make an
occasional phone call to each other.

It's sad that we're no longer close to each other, but we've both
developed our own circle of friends and family. We've just drifted apart,
and neither of us feels the need to get closer again.

Whenever she comes over to stay in Nottingham, she always books into
a hotel, rather than come and stay with us (despite our repeated offers
to her to put her feet up here). She has said that we can do the same
if we ever come over to see her in Strasbourg .... book ourselves into a
hotel rather than stay in her huge apartment (or at her country villa).
All of this appears somewhat strange to us, and unfriendly.

Oh well. I suppose she must dislike having to do extra cleaning around
the house (not that we're very keen on doing extra housework either).

"There's nowt so strange as family!"


Blogger Keith said...

Staying at hotels seems to be the done thing in France.

When I visit family there they prefer that I stay at a hotel nearby rather than stay at their house. I think this is popular in America as well.

I don't think any slight or insult is intended, it's just that they prefer to keep their home just for their immediate family.

I must admit if I have guests staying at my house I do tend to get a bit irritable with them after a while.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin 'In Salford' said...

Yes, the Australian bush fires this year seem to have been far worse than they've ever been before. What sickened me was this year they actually have evidence of small fires being started deliberately (often suspected, but never confirmed)in order to spread into, add to, and hence enhance the natural bush fires. The BBC 24HR News report on the resultant effect was frightening. Not only the overhead, but also rolling ground flames.

Family relationships are such strange things.

My family is not a 'tightly knitted together' family, but the one thing that's always stood out is the high level of respect we have for each other. We may not contact each other from one Christmas to the next, but if we hear that one of us is going through a bad time then the Family pulls together to offer help and support.

We would never want to 'impose' on each other, even at times of 'pulling together', and even though we know the offer of accommodation is genuine, and would be very comfortable if we accepted. Maybe this has roots in "the British thing" ???

1:09 AM  

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