For the first time in a while, daughter is home for a weekend visit. Picked up from Didcot after work on Friday and just time for a quick change before we head off for the pub in the village. As usual, Emma has lots of pending things going on in her life, but things generally seem to be going well. Her new-found non-vegentarianism continues to develop, and tonight she has a beef burger for perhaps the first time ever.
She has a lie in on Saturday till mid morning and then it is off to Oxford for brunch at the French cafe and an afternoon's shopping with Linda. I had originally intended to stay in with them for the afternoon, but they seemed keen to come home together on the bus. Sure enough, they are loaded down with stuff when I meet them off the bus later.
Our evening is focused around me cooking a nice meal - salmon and prawns in a cream and paprika sauce for starter, followed by a dish I have done for years - fillet steak with a cream, onion, mushroom and whiskey sauce. We sit out in the sun room which is nice. Afterwards, we watch Unstoppable, eat Ben and Jerry's Phish food with added malteasers, and generally have a very nice evening.
Sunday is a father-daughter trip to Oxford for lunch together and an hour looking at books in Blackwells.
But I am noticing again that the two of us have moved a long way apart over the past few years. Things we would have talked about in detail in the past are now dismissed as uninteresting. So much of our relationship in the past was taken up with academic issues, that post-Cambridge, we have struggled a bit to re-define our relationship. By contrast, Linda and Emma are much closer now they don't live together and the issues that Emma faces are more likely to be ones that Linda can best address.
I note also that Emma's holiday planning for next year already includes about a week away with Linda, while talk of she and I doing something together has dropped away. As before, I am left with a rather melancholic feeling from the weekend.