"I have a phone on each ear."

22 Dec 2015

I appreciate London when I view it from this perspective. When it's far away and I'm stood amongst the trees. I whip out my phone to take a photo, like so many of my generation, and notice a missed call from my Mum about five minutes ago. I dial my voice mail.

Hello daughter. I need to ask you what your menu choices are for the family Christmas meal that your Grandma is organising.

There's a pause.

Now this may not sound like the most important thing in the world but it is, so ring me back.

I ring her back.

"It's me," I say "I'm returning your important phonecall."

"I've got your sister on the phone now."

"Oh charming"

"I have a phone on each ear."


"Do you want to say hello to your sister? Hang on, let me hold you up."

I hear my sister's voice as though from underwater.

"Hi," I half shout. A woman nearby, trying to get her toddler to pay attention to the view, gives me a disapproving look.

"Right," says Mum "This is excellent, I only have to read this out once. For starters..." She lists off the various options.

"I'll have the soup."

"I knew you'd have the soup..."

There's a distinct beeping in the background.

"Oh bloody hell, the oven timer is going off, hang on, I'm going to have to put you down"

I imagine the two phones lying on the dining table, my sister and I stretched out next to each other. I'm half tempted to see if I can try and have a conversation with her like this. I watch the child in front of me jump around in the mud, much more interested in dirtying his boots than his mother's attempts to point out the Shard to him.

"Right, I'm back. Mains. Hang on, where are my glasses?!"

I grin as I hear my sister chuckling.

"You've picked a good time to do this Mum."

"Oh sod off. Listen to the mains..."

"I'll have the turkey dinner"

"You see, I knew you'd have that."

She lists off a selection of desserts, all an odd combination with a Christmas dinner.

"Toffee cheesecake."

"I needn't have bothered with this, I knew that's what you'd pick."

"You'd have picked wrong if you hadn't rung though."

"Bugger, I've didn't give you the vegetarian options."

"You're a loon."

"At least you know where you get it from. Are you home for tea?"