“What do you want for breakfast?”
“You can’t have hot dogs.”
“Can I have Coke instead of milk?”
“Definitely not, you’ll drink milk or juice”
“Not to drink, on my Weetabix”
“Mum would let us…”
“No she would not! Anyway she isn’t here”
“Where is she?”
She is here having this.
I am at home trying to persuade our children to eat their breakfast, get dressed and clean their teeth before the school bus arrives. She is in the south of France as we have been commissioned to photograph a luxury family holiday destination. Guess who got the short straw in this particular assignment?
I look around at the devastation wrought by two small children having breakfast and sigh.
Then I walk the dogs. It is pouring with rain and we trudge round the village heads down, going through the motions, some of us more literally than others. Back home and the house is filled with the smell of wet dog. I switch on my computer and connect with the outside world and I am greeted with this.
The rain is hammering on the roof and the wind is banging on the window.
I leave the computer and put the dog towels in the washing machine. I have decided to be efficient so the washing machine is taking a beating, as is the tumble dryer. I now realise that all I have done is create an ironing mountain. After an hour of laundry duty I return to my computer to write and edit.
Rosie is doing this.
I rifle the fridge for a lunch of leftovers and things that no one else likes.
Mrs L365 is having this.
The kids come home from school and run past me shouting
“Dad! Put the TV on!”
Dinner is what the children want so it has oven chips and lots of tomato sauce involved.
Rosie’s dinner involves this.
After dinner I patiently persuade the children that they are, contrary to their firmly expressed opinions, tired and they need to go to bed.
After lengthy negotiations they are in bed and I cast an eye over the house. It looks like it has been trashed by Santa’s bad elves. Bits of toys and clothes are everywhere; the TV is blaring away to an uninterested dog snoring on a couch. The table looks like breakfast all over again but with tomato sauce.
Rosie’s apartment looks like this.
The next day I have a flight checker website up on one of my computer screens. It follows Rosie’s flight from the south of France to Edinburgh. I turn away from the work on the other screen to watch a tiny icon inch so very slowly closer and closer. I miss Rosie. I miss sharing parental duties. I miss being able to say “ask your mother.” I miss my toys. She took the best camera kit with her leaving me the second best stuff. Mostly I just miss her for being herself.
The little icon of her plane closes on Edinburgh airport. I zoom in and the runway appears under the plane. The icon then trundles along the runway. It approaches the first taxiway. It passes it by. Never mind there is a second. It ignores that too. The tiny pixilated plane carries on off the end of the runway and keeps going. I stop watching as it continues through the Gogar roundabout and onto the city bypass.