"Uncle, Uncle!" screamed my niece - four years old - as she opened the door to me on Wednesday evening. She was extremely pleased to see me - I'd like her to be in charge of my welcoming comittee wherever I go.
Anyway, she was thrilled to see me, and had something she wanted me to see>
"Uncle, come and look at my brother's willy - it's really hard..."
At this point, I started to wonder what kind of freaks make up my family. Luckily my brother stepped in with an explanation.
"He's been to Tae Kwon Do," he said, "and he's still wearing his protective underpants".
And so he was. Alas, that was all he was wearing.
I accepted the offer of a cup of tea, put my cases down and sank into the sofa.
My niece was dressed as a mermaid, my nephew naked but for backless underwear. My brother was picking at his feet and my sister-in-law was busy with a cookery experiment involving packet mash and tinned beef.
The room was full to the brim of rubbish, crap, junk. A full cast of High School Musical dolls. A Deathstar and TIE fighter. Two televisions. Three two-foot piles of magazines and at least five different Dora the Explorer dolls, in various guises. On top of this was yesterday's dinner plates and last night's pyjamas. And two half full bottles of Pepsi Max.
As I sat there in the surrealist of surroundings and chatted with my six-year-old, jockstrap wearing nephew about his day at school, I truly wondered what was going to lie ahead over the days to come. What freakishness would my friends and family deliver over the next 72 hours?
I hate to give you a cliffhanger, but suffice to say that I haven't been dissappointed. There's more to follow.
Meanwhile, however, I must get back to my Mother - she's just produced some 'Weight Watchers' toast dripping with butter and jam for a suppertime snack.
Oh yes folks, this truly is la vida loca....