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One of my good friends here is South African, so until recently, when she got her second passport, a British one, she had to apply for a visa whenever she wanted to go somewhere. Even just to France. For the day. Which was a pain in the neck, but still, I think The Mom would prefer a similar sort of system for our lot.

But it’s not just international travel that concerns her. When I go anywhere inside the United Kingdom, say, up to Scotland to visit friends, or out to Essex, or even just to the seaside for the day, I send a wee note. I doubt highly that she rushes to her atlas and checks as to whether or not the name of the town I’ve said I’m going to is real and exists, but there you are. It’s in my best interests anyhow to give her a real name. You know that bit on your passport where you have to write down your next of kin? On mine it just says The Mom and gives a phone number. Lord knows what would happen if something terrible were to unfurl itself and some poor worker had to ring up asking for someone called The Mom. Best not think of it.

The problem is, and I don’t mean to humble brag here, but the fact of the matter is what with me living on Europe’s doorstep and cheap flights available to those with passports and prone to certain whimsical flights of fancy, there is a good chance I’ll just decide to go to Barcelona for the weekend, or Paris, or wherever. And Crazy D, well, I’ve just given myself over to thinking that he actually lives in an airport lounge now. Which is all to say that The Mom is having a bit of a hard time remembering where everyone is.

So you’ll have conversations like, “I think your brother is on his way to Kenya.”

And then I’ll hear L’il Sis in the background shouting, “No, Manilla! I told you, Manilla first then Kenya!”

Or I’ll get an email from L’il Sis that says, please confirm location, The Mom thinks you’re in Glasgow. To which I’ll have to reply, No Cardiff, Wales, visa run.

Thankfully L’il Sis doesn’t travel so much with her job anymore, someone has to help The Mom keep abreast of our locations.

Crazy D, is, of course, the worst offender in this area. I dislike leaving my house if at all possible, so the likelihood that I will actually just take off for the weekend is fairly slim, though it has been known to happen. And I generally provide a firm destination. He, on the other hand, will mount his trusty bicycle and look in the distance. When asked where he thinks he might be headed he’ll simply squint and say something not helpful like, “East.”

While not entirely inaccurate, for The Mom’s purposes (and her purposes run from emergency retrieval to identifying a body) it’s not as useful as it could be.

One year, Crazy D announced he was going somewhere to do something just before Christmas. The Mom, L’il Sis and I spent Christmas Eve placing bets as to whether or not he’d remember that tomorrow was Christmas and turn up. He did, actually. Which was good, because we didn’t have to implement my next suggestion which was to chip him. You know, like with a microchip. The kind the dogs have. They’re prone to wandering off as is he. I’m fairly certain that we could get an app for that, and so whenever anyone asked, “Where’s Crazy D at?” we could just Google him.

Would save The Mom rather a lot of sleepless nights.