I think I talked non-stop (or it felt that way) when we first got together. It didn’t feel awkward. It was just different. There was the usual reminiscing for them both – Colin remembering the Vauxhall Viva Dawn drove and how tanned she was. For Dawn I’m fairly certain Colin had more hair and was taller.
The sporting gene was strong on both sides – with budding careers in rugby, basketball, running, polo and golf. There probably wasn’t a sport that wasn’t covered and it did sometimes feel that one side needed to outdo the other. There was even a discussion at some stage on whose horses were better and faster!
Colin cycles at least 20 kilometres a day and then I am sure, must collapse in a heap. With a tender heart and a few knee/hip replacements I’m thinking he is not as fast as he used to be. He would lead you to believe that he could run or should I say, cycle a marathon in record time. One day we saw him cycling off into the distance, looking like a teenage boy in his cut-off shorts and bandy legs, wobbling down the road like a child with trainer wheels. It was a funny sight.
Whereas Dawn has a quieter, unassuming manner about her, Colin speaks his mind and often may rub people up the wrong way. When I asked him what was the highlight of the weekend, he commented “seeing us off to the airport”. I think at one stage he even described us both as a ‘bore and a chore’. Surely not? Dawn couldn’t recall a lot of Colin’s personality but we both decided that under that gruff exterior was a heart of gold.
Colin is a fantastic story-teller of which sometimes it is hard to distinguish the facts from fiction. Stories of him and a Miss World Contestant falling into his arms, and his trips here there and everywhere kept us well entertained. At one stage he debated over who was browner – me or him. He had to resort to rubbing butter over his skin to make it look like he was. Yes, he is that competitive.
We laughed lots and I think all enjoyed meeting up. Colin was generous, witty and outspoken which was complimented by Dawn’s more reserved but equally strong opinion at times. I was quite used to Colin’s short sharp comments – Dawn not quite so, but she cottoned on and gave him a good run for his money.
When Dawn and Colin met for coffee one afternoon, the conversation must have turned to love, laughter and marriage. Both having been married and had children. It would appear that somewhere along the way, I do have a half-sister not much younger than me. Hmm – I guess that is a story for another time.
Overall, the weekend was a healing process for everyone I think, and a chance to perhaps get closure on an event that contained a lot of memories and guilt associated with it. I did feel a sense of relief to be heading back to familiar territory, when I hopped on the plane, but equally felt lucky for us all to have met.
Helen aka Yellow Tulip
p.s. for some light relief I did drag Dawn around the shops, where the poor woman ended up with blisters. It didn’t help that where we were staying at the Adelphi was 2 doors down from Zambesi and not far from my favourite shoe shop ZOMP.
p.p.s for Colin and Dawn some snapshots from when I was little to when I got married …. enjoy.