I'm off to Devon tomorrow for my daughter's birthday. This will also be my chance to meet her much younger boyfriend, with whom she's getting very serious. Needless to say, my stomach is outperforming itself, filling me with pain and nausea and sending me shooting off to the loo at inconvenient intervals. I shall probably stick to soup today, to try and be in some semblance of reasonable shape so I can travel tomorrow. An hour and half on the Tube to Waterloo, then three hours on the train to Honiton. When I get there, there will be no luxurious bedroom waiting for me, but a doss-house full of people from all over the UK who have gathered for her birthday and will be sleeping on the sofa, in the hayloft and anywhere they can find somewhere to pitch a sleeping bag.
She has frequently berated me for giving her a birthday at the start of February. Her party last year was snowed off but this year it looks as if all we'll have is pouring rain. Nice! I haven't actually seen her for two years, though we keep in touch via text, phone and email. It's a strange relationship, really. As I did without her for 36 years, two years of not seeing her seems nothing, after the sheer wonder of finding her after all that time.
She lives with her adoptive mum and I feel awkward around her - an interloper, an inconvenience; a threat, even. That's one reason I haven't gone there much. She is perfectly polite and civil to me, but I sense a tension and that makes my stomach even worse. In fact, I wish I didn't have to go at all and that my daughter would come up to London instead. But she works nearly every night of the week doing online tarot readings, so that makes it difficult for her to travel. I suppose I will just have to fill myself with pills and force myself onto that train.