Just needing a few of the little things

Yesterday afternoon I began to feel strange. Oddly, I kept on wondering what mum’s kitchen smelled like, and whether the piano was still in it’s place in the dining room. I suppose I was feeling, for the first time since I moved in with Lyn, homesick. This place, of course, is my home now, here in London, but you can’t cut the emotional ties too the house in which you grew up, especially not this time of year. It is, after all, almost a year since I saw that place – slept in my old bed, sat at my place at the kitchen table.

There was only one thing for it: Skype! I rang my parents, and Mum answered. The kitchen, she explained, smelled of rice pudding, but the day before it had smelled of Christmas cake, a rich, delicious smell I remember well. Mum cooks one every year, and I suspect I’ll be having some of it on Saturday afternoon. Never have I looked forward to a cake more, for I’ll be eating it with my family. Aside from my older brother, Mark, and of course Kat, my immediate family will be together for the first time in months, and I can’t wait! Mind you, apart from email, I don’t think I’ve had contact with Mark for a year, so his presence will be greatly missed indeed, but he spent last Christmas with us so it’s only right that he spends this one with Kat’s family.

Skype helped greatly, and speaking to mum cheered me up a great deal, but a while later I decided I needed something you wouldn’t really expect from me. I sent Andrzej to by a copy of the Sunday Times. My parents get it, for some long-lost reason, and I used to love reading the Culture section with the TV guide. Every year they do a two-week guide, and for me, it’s arrival is one of the signs, along with the Coke advert, that Christmas is here. You have no idea how inordinately happy I felt when my PA handed me that paper; never before has a broadsheet brought so much joy. I opened it and found the two-week edition of the Culture supplement. And once again I felt at home and at peace: Christmas has come!

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