The train journey back from our lovely holiday in Orkney was a little melancholy.
But the gold at the end of the rainbow was that Carenza was returning home after three months’ solo back-packing in South East Asia.
I had never met anybody at an airport before and neither had Will. My only experience was watching Love Actually far more times than I care to recount. Will, who came too, had more experience – he had seen the Gavin and Stacey episode where they return from honeymoon.
“The Mum makes this stupidly huge banner, then she forces the Dad, who’s embarrassed, to hold the other end at the airport…….What’s that you’re carrying, Clare?”
“Um. A banner. I’ve rolled it up to make it portable.”
“Looks quite… large. How big would you say it was?”
“Kitchen table sized.”
To do him justice, when we reached Airport Arrivals, Will barely put up a fight as I placed the stick in his hand. He also held up his own discreet and beautifully made banner.
Many people who came through the gate crowed with delight at the large pink banner. Blonde girls seemed particularly to like it which was a good sign.
However, it clearly ruined some people’s day – those who were being met by relatives with less sizeable banners expressed their disappointment resentfully.
For quite a long time we stood there at the ready.
“I’m beginning to get banner burn.”
“Yep, my banner hand’s gone numb.”
But when Carenza finally arrived, the banner didn’t matter at all.
After she had diplomatically expressed appreciation for our art efforts, we rolled up my banner , thrust it in the bin and went home with our girl.