Anxiety almost got the better of me last week during the lead up to my visit to my mum's. It's always the same and I feel ridiculous, but it's me, and I doubt I'll ever change. As it happens the weekend went well. I caught up with very good friends who never fail to make me feel welcome, saw my soon-to-be 17 year old nephew who's looking forward to his first driving lesson in a couple of weeks, had a lovely meal out with my mum and her partner, then set off for home at 9am on Sunday. Despite the weather, the journeys to Lancashire and back home to Northumberland were good with, surprisingly, no hold ups on the motorways.
And the best parts of the weekend?
Being hugged. I miss being hugged. My dad used to give incredible hugs; squeezing the life out of me before I left their house, as if every hug he gave was the last. Amy gives hugs like my dad did, wrapping her arms around me as though determined to never let go.
My mum is a small-framed lady and her hugs are gentle. My friends, Dolce & Gabana, are welcoming and homely and their hugs ooze true friendship, though Dolce is recovering from an operation so I was a little afraid to hug him too tightly.
The house hugged me on my return. I felt the walls wrap themselves around my waist, familiar warmth seeping into my heart.
And then I got the hug I'd been waiting for. The one that always keeps me going while I'm away. The one that reminds me of my dad, of Amy, of my home. The one that gives life in Northumberland such meaning and purpose;
My Farmer's hug.