They arrived on Saturday, on the same flight as my boss's inlaws1 and the woman who Gordon Brown called a bigot2. And now I have five weeks of chatting to my Dad about football before work! Oh, and endless comments of the "do you always have that kind of thing for breakfast?" variety. At least my Mum has finally given up trying to stop me (and my sister, when they visit her) from leaving the house with wet hair.
Yesterday morning was spent in the VanDusen Botanical Garden, which is in full and splendid bloom at the moment.
A non-blooming part of the garden. Oops!
My Dad's sense of humour has been documented here previously, but one thing I didn't mention was that every trip has to have a theme. He'll find something that amuses him, then create a whole set of jokes, stories, and banter around it. For example, after meeting someone on his flight once who had an annoying voice and rather unusual opinions on several issues, everything that happened on that trip had to be commented on and re-told as if by that person. It's always very funny for the first week, less so the second, and gets gradually more annoying through constant repetition. By the end of five weeks we'll be begging him to stop, but my poor Mum will have to live with it for at least another month after they get home.
Mr E Man's Scottish heritage is a recurring theme of my Dad's banter, and he happened to be wearing his Scotland rugby shirt yesterday. So when my Dad spotted a mention of a "famous Scottish tree hybridiser" on one of the Garden's plaques, it quickly became apparent that the theme for this trip was set.
"You Scotsmen will shag anything!" was the opening salvo. (Mr E Man did point out that this is not a very nice thing to say to the man who married your daughter).
There was much more banter along these lines as we made our way around the garden, and the puns and jokes continued over lunch. I know I shouldn't encourage my Dad in his efforts, but "Robert the Spruce" popped into my head and was too good not to share. My Dad then inquired whether Mr E Man's ancestors came from the Outer or Inner Hybridise3, and it's all been downhill since then.
Ah well, it's lovely to see them, and we have lots planned for the next few weeks. Luckily, both my parents seem happy to watch lots of hockey (Go Canucks Go! WOOOOOOO!). We're also taking them to see Delhi 2 Dublin (we've told my Dad that the venue will be serving curried Guiness), and to visit Mr E Man's mum and then one of his sisters. Oh, and we're going to Whistler so the boys can play golf and the girls can go to the spa. So if you don't see me round the blogosphere as much as usual, this is why... so much to do! Although we will have a temporary return to normality next week when my parents leave for their week-long Alaskan cruise, and they might also go down to Seattle for a couple of days at some point.
Oh, and the cats are being excellent ambassadors for their species; if this continues, my Mum should be able to persuade my Dad to get another cat (the last one died seven years ago), if/when she decides that she would like one. She's always been a pet person, but my Dad most definitely isn't, and he agreed to get the last cat only after much begging and crying by my sister and me. The cat turned out to be a vicious little bugger who'd rather scratch you than snuggle with you; Google and Saba are the opposite, and have already slept on his lap several times. Nice work, kitties!
1) I ran into him and his family in the arrivals area. We had a long wait as there was a problem with the baggage carousel; my parents got one suitcase immediately, but had to wait an hour before the second one showed up.
2) Apparently she was very embarrassed to be recognised! I wonder if it was a pre-planned trip or if she suddenly felt the need to flee the country...
3) Link for those of you not au fait with Scottish geography