Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dad goes AWOL

I had a bit of a moment last night.
My brother telephoned me from England at almost 10pm. As soon as I answered the phone and heard his voice, I panicked.
It's a seldom occurrence that I get phone calls from any family members in the UK so when they do, I instantly assume there's something wrong.
My Dad, who is visiting the UK at the moment, appeared to have gone missing! And before you have visions of Mrs Hyacinth Bucket (or is that Bouquet?) and her elderly father who frequently vanishes, picture this: my Dad is only 56 years old and is in full possession of his faculties (at least... most of the time!)
Apparently my dear Dad had left Loughborough in the morning to travel up to Rotherham to visit his father. He had told my brother he would be back in the afternoon. 9.30pm came and went and still no sign. Phone calls and numerous text messages to him later, and we were still no closer to finding out his whereabouts.
I had been called in order to obtain our Grandad's phone number, who they duly called - only to be told Dad had left their house at 3pm.
By this time, I was in a bit of a panic... picturing him lying helplessly roadside half dead (I do have a tendency to dramatise things), I couldn't possibly go to bed until I knew what was going on.
Perhaps his mobile phone had run out of credit, I thought. I immediately went online and put an extra 10 euros on it, followed by frantically trying to phone and text him. Nothing.
My brother told me to calm down and go to bed, which I duly did. I lay there until 11pm, worried sick. I can now imagine what parents are like when their teenage kids are out and about in the evening. Arrrgh!
I couldn't possibly sleep so I headed back downstairs and switched on Messenger. 'Any news?', I asked anxiously.
'I was just going to ring you', said my sister in law... 'he's just walked in!'.
A huge sigh of relief escaped my lips.... followed by this intense desire to call him all the names under the sun (which, of course, I would never do... he is my father!)
'It's alright. He's had a bad day.......... he missed the bus'.
Shaking my head and now seeing the funny side. And his mobile phone?
He'd left it with my sister down the road!
Grrrrrrrrrrr.