Reader, I have never been a particularly trendy human being. I have an hourglass figure which mean most fashionable clothes look positively ghastly (in other news, how brilliant is THAT phrase?!) on me, I don't like the taste of beer and I was only 'in the know' about music for about 5 minutes when I was 17. Most awkwardly of all, I actually get on with my parents. I even like spending time of them. Reader, I enjoy introducing them to my friends. I know, cast me out, send me to the uncool corner with the granny pants and B*witched.
But it's true! I tried to do a bit of Kevin-The-Teenager style whinging when I was 15 but to be honest it was usually followed by us all slumping down to watch Sex and The City together and throwing bits of dinner at each other. We regularly go out for dinner together and have a brilliant time laughing till we cry. We're about to go on holiday together to Italy. I was actually delighted when a photoshoot got cancelled this morning because it meant I could go for coffee with my mum. Me and my dad went and had a lovely picnic and open air theatre evening last week.
When my younger friends talk about how they don't get on with their parents, I often sagely say how time makes you realise how precious they are, but in all honestly, my parents have always also been two of my closest friends.
Ok, so maybe it's because they're a bit younger than most parents I know-or at least look younger. They used to be punks (which all my mates thought to be the coolest thing ever), my dad has tattoos and when I got various parts of my body pierced or tattooed, they'd be the first to want to see and be impressed by them. When I smoked my first spliff aged 18 I phoned them up and my Dad wound me up on purpose because he thought it was funny (I didn't actually do many drugs after that even though they were readily available-my parents had told me young about what you experience when you take them, so there was no mystery or thrill. I am still somewhat bored by drug culture). My mum has better knowledge of music than me (she regularly rolls her eyes in the car when I don't recognise the latest Rhianna or Katy Perry song) and my Dad has been clubbing more times than me this year.
Now, don't get me wrong, my parents have never spoiled me (which, in my opinion is one of the reasons we get on so well). They didn't see the point in kids having designer labels (now I'm an adult, neither do I) and my school bags were normally the free laptop bags dad would get from work events with a housing association name printed across the side. We always ate what they ate (which resulted in some strange food quirks-from a young age I was obsessed with olives and pistachio nuts and my brother was a red meat addict at age 4) with no room for compromise and they were strict about homework. Junk food was only allowed on special occasions and I didn't have my first Burger King till age 8. Rudeness was not tolerated, and we were taught from a young age to care about social injustice (which led to both my younger brother and I occasionally putting ourselves in the way of danger to protect others). When I wanted a pet, they made me do an in depth project on the species that involved phoning up local vets, RSPCA shelters and going to the library for weeks on end before they would consider it.
One of the most fantastic things my parents did was take me and my younger sibling travelling. Between the two of us, we've been to some incredible places, had some truly bizarre experiences and tried some seriously dodgy meals, and I think it's been an amazing learning experience. I spent most of from when I was 3-4 sleeping in caravans, on floor-beds in Asia and on planes, trains and buses (which now means that I fall asleep in nearly every moving vehicle I travel in). My playmates ranged from local kids in Fiji who didn't speak a word of English but showed me how to ride a waterfall like a water slide, to a variety of weird and wonderful animals (I became BFFs with a Cane Toad and then got very upset when none of the people in the restaurant wanted to stroke it). A couple of years ago we spent a month travelling across Vietnam, which was a wonderful experience-particularly for my younger brother, who had never seen Asia. Thanks to my brilliant parents, I have a huge volume of memories in my head that I know I'll be able to tell my kids like Roald Dahl tales as they drift off to sleep.
So yeah. I'm really glad that I'm uncool enough to love hanging out with my parents. Even if that does make me an epic geek.
Have a lovely week Reader! New vlog will be out on my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/magenta/videos tomorrow at 11.30am!