Mum clasped her hands and beamed at me, besotted, gasping "Oh... aren't you handsome!"
That's a nice start to a visit.
I'd brought my laptop and a movie chronicling the city of Liverpool over the past 60 years or so. I'm not sure whether Mum genuinely recognised anything. I had thought she might respond to the sequences onboard the "Overhead Railway" (nicknamed "the Dockers' Umbrella"), which is where she and my Father first met, but the only point where she made a comment was when there was a shot of the New Brighton Lido. I'm confident that this was only because I've given her photos of herself as a 20-something, posing at the same Lido.
Afterwards, when I set a slideshow of photos going, Mum was quick to recognise herself in most shots but didn't know either her Husband or Daughter. I find it requires a little tact to reintroduce one's Mother to one's Father. I do it in a matter-of-fact way, not registering the shock I still feel when Mum has forgotten him. It's clear that, until corrected, Mum is minded to consider ME her Husband.
I stayed overnight for the first time - there's a free guest suite which I found an oasis of calm. I'm going to start doing this in future, as it will allow me to spend longer with Mum instead of worrying about my return journey within a couple of hours of my arrival.
As I signed out at Reception the next morning, a lady with a Zimmer frame passed, screwed her hand forcefully into my behind and gave me a sailorly wink.
I've found my key fan base - 80 and female. I've been looking for love in ALL the wrong places, it seems...