I spent a great deal of the Summer out of Edinburgh, indeed, out of Scotland. I should, of course, being a gay, be able to liken that to Meryl Streep and Out of Africa, but I can't. I'm a gay, yes, but a bad gay. Most gays know which style of top is hot this week and last, which band should be top of anyone's playlist and how to bitch. The best I can do is bake muffins. I'm sorry, it's true.
And I'm waffling. Again. And sorry for that, too.
So yes, I've spent much of the Summer away from home. For a myriad of reasons; to try and rescue my sanity, to spend time with my Mum and to see some sunshine. I'm not sure if I managed any of that, to be frank, but I tried and if I'd not even tried, I'd feel more of a failure now than I actually am.
On the sanity front - spending much of my time here alone with not much to do afforded me hours of tongue examination and my mind went a wondering. Without given facts but plenty on which to ponder, I'd frighten myself in imagining my imminent death on a daily basis. Anyone might imagine I had too much time on my hands. Perhaps they were right.
There's never a dull moment in Bournemouth. Mum's a very lively personality. She likes to push buttons and surround herself with something of a royal court. I've often wondered if she was a queen in a former life and if, perhaps, that's why her son turned out to be a queen, too.
I certainly did not have too much time on my hands in Bournemouth. In fact, I had no time to spare. Mum woke me up, most mornings, quite early. There was always a plan; people to see, things to do, bingo to play. There was no time to worry about what might or might not be.
It was great seeing Mum. When I initially left Bournemouth in 2000, I planned on going back down to Dorset about once a month. I've never actually managed that. Mum's either been too busy to see me or things have been happening up here. Of course, I have been down to England quite often, sometimes for extended periods and Mum's been here. I'm sure it averages out to about as much time as my planned one weekend in four. So I don't feel too guilty over it. Of course, such statistics, as used by many a government, paper over many a crack. I think I've convinced myself that I'm ok with this. I can be positive about it. Indeed, my eldest sister only lives a five minute car journey away from Mum. I see her much more often than my sister does, the bitch.
If 2007 had abeen a better Summer, I'd have been able to fulfil my other desire - to see some sunshine! Get a wee tan, even. No, not possible. Most days were dull. Overcast skies were the norm and there were as many wet days as there were dry.
But still, there was the bingo! And we won quite a bit. We never left out of pocket, even if we only broke even. One afternoon, Mum, Pat (her wee pal) and I left with just over one hundred pounds. We have a sharing pact, though. If my memory serves me well, we each came away with £34.33 each. Who got the extra penny, I can't say.
Those, I suppose, dear reader, are the bar bones of my Summer trip to England.
In my degenerating mind, it was somewhat different.
Loyal readers of this vile blog may know how my brother's wedding in West Virgina a few years back was a hotbed of hate and homophobia. My Mum still refuses to face facts and accept that her daughter is an evil and twisted bitch with opinions that would make Adolf Hitler look liberal.
I tried, on many occasions, to let sly comments go by the wayside, but once or twice, I did take the bate and debate the point with Mum. Why, I'm not too sure.
I don't have children. I imagine how a woman might feel torn when her children are fighting, but I do imagine and do hope that I'd be able to see right from wrong. No matter how old my children were, I'd like to think I'd intervene and punish where punishments were due, even if said punishment was just a tirade of verbal abuse.
But I'm not a parent. So I don't really know. I cannot judge my Mother. I don't have the ability to walk a mile in her moccasins.
All I am able to take from the Summer is that I don't want to fight with my Mother, I don't want to argue and I don't want another sibling to come between us. I have to accept that Mum isn't perfect. Mum has to accept that her children aren't perfect either. Both sons and daughters.
I love my Mother dearly, even if she is a right wing xenephobe. She's going to be seventy seven years old in November. I don't know how much longer I'll have here with her but certainly intend to treasure whatever time I do have. Quite a poignant statement, actually, especially considering that it's two years ago today that Ian's Mum passed away after a short illness.
There are still some bones I'd like to pick over and contentious subjects I'd like addressed, but I won't let them get in the way of my relationship with Mum. All health scares taken into account, we might not have that long together. No-one knows what's around the corner. And a cliché, I know, but she or I could get run over by a bus tomorrow.
That said, my sister really should do something about the widening rift she's caused within my family. I've never been one for being buddies with a person simply because we're related, but I do care on some level for my bitch of a sister. If I didn't, all this wouldn't bother me. And I know it bothers Mum. So if that bus did come for Mum or I tomorrow, my sister would have to live out the rest of her life with no opportunity to repair the damage she's done.
And what a lot of damage.
To add insult to homophobic injury, she's forbidden her daughter from telling my Mum (her Gran) that she's a lesbian. My sister's story varies from source to source. She's either blantantly vague on the matter, can't bring herself to tell Mummy, indifferent or insisting Mum doesn't know the truth because she's ashamed of her daughter's lesbianism.
But Mum will find out. It's not a question of if but when. Practically every member of the family knows about my niece. The only person who doesn't seem to know is Mum. Whether it's a slip of the tongue or intentional, she will be told at some point. The only question then remaining will be my Mother's: how come everyone else knew and not me?
I'd really hoped, even in taking the brunt of my sister's hatred, she'd learn something from that American episode. No. She hasn't. She's still a homophobic cunt. I pity her, I really do. But I can't help loving her. I'm some kind of glutton for punishment, I think.
Hey, ho. As Sylvia Mason-James once said to me, live for today, hen.