It’s no doubt I’m like my father. Anyone can spot that a mile away. We’ve always been compatible. Our ways of thinking, our logic, our conclusions…and our bellies. For as long as I can remember we’ve had our donut dates. These usually last a weekend and are sworn to secrecy – by both parties.
Everyone has their “safe place”. Their cabin in the woods near the sea. For us, we’re lucky enough to have a bungalow in the bog looking out on the ocean. Our safe place takes a four hour drive to get to.
When times were ever stressful in my life, I could always rely on my dad to whisk me away to a place where I’d feel better. And he never failed.
Any time I’d want. Be it the middle of a school week, the day after Christmas, the day before my birthday or that day we want to forget. My dad would never hesitate to load up his car, and be off in less than an hour.
I’d have full control of the car radio, of course. In the front seat, always. Except for six o clock, we’d have to get the news. I never had to be told to change it, it was always part of the deal. We’d take a detour up north, a route rarely travelled when our other family members are in the car. He’d park the car, I’d grab a trolley and we’d stack up in Asda for our Pig Weekend. Recently, new items have been added to the list such as alcoholic slushies and White wine – he was always one for Red. But the usual culprits were always tortilla chips, a bar of Lindt chocolate, two cupcakes and ALWAYS always always a twelve pack of Homer Simpson Rainbow Sprinkle Donuts. Usually two make it to the final destination of our journey, but that’s one of the ‘sworn to secrecy’ parts of the trip.
Upon arrival, we immediately pull up on the beach and roll the windows down- the weather is irrelevant. Take a couple of breaths in and remind ourselves of our home. Remind ourselves that we are home.
Before we arrive at our house we flip a coin. Heads- Dad has to open the gate. Tails- I do. Luckily, it lands on heads far more than it does tails. We bring everything in, make sure the dog is ok, and stick the kettle on. After a few minutes of settling in, we decide on what we want for dinner. It’s not too hard, as the answer is always the same. So with his cooler/insulator bag, Dad leaves to collect our “usual” order of two large pizzas.
It is these moments when I do have to take a step back and realise how much my dad does for me. (Obviously my mum too, but that’s a different story!<3)
We’re never really alone from that moment onwards. For one thing, my two friends practically move in during summer. So it’s always at least four for dinner. We also have our other friends and family, including my Godmother who pay a visit, and almost always bring a lobster or two. Some nights are spent down in the local community centre and pub with these amazing people, but other nights are spent in pyjamas with my two friends belting out the songs to Mamma Mia, or sabotaging each other in Mario Cart. Whatever the situation, I know my dad will just accept it and roll with it.
We usually get about 3 days in total before we head home, or are joined by the other half of our family who never really take advantage of the world around them.
I’ll never be able to show my appreciation to the man I owe so much to. Those donut dates mean more to me than anyone could ever understand. So even if there is no wifi, if I never wear make up, if I have to climb a mountain, if the only phone signal I get is standing on a rock out at sea, none of it matters. None of it matters because I am where my heart belongs. My dad has given me that part of me who feels at home in that little bungalow in a bog looking out on the ocean.