Unfortunately I can't help it.
I do have my reasons. Though approaching senility has made my lamentable memory a blurry screen of vague black-and-white images, an early episode in the story of my life stands out clear and bright in blazing technicolour.
Picture me back in secondary, a callow lil schoolboy all eager to begin that infamous Grand Tour abroad only to find at the last minute that there were no available seats on standby. Bore up as well as I could - certainly couldn't shed unmanly tears in public - but there was no hiding the acute disappointment on my unseasoned boyish face. Yes, I hadn't fully mastered the sly art of deception back then.
Well before I ever made it abroad!
Almost immediately - without hesitation - my acutely perceptive mother plonked down cash for a fullfare ticket! Credit she could ill afford. Hell, we never were all that flush and I'm sure forking out for that ticket already cleared what little there was of her sadly meagre savings. And yet my mother would have given even more to get me what I selfishly wanted! Never felt so small, undeserving and utterly contemptible.
What else could I do? Of course I manned up, swallowed the bitter pill and nobly refused the overly generous offer. But it made me realize what kind of mother I had.
It's always the little things that you remember.
So yes, I do chaperon my mother about quite a bit. Though my mother might deny it, travelling large has always been one of her long cherished dreams - that dreamy wanderlust a trait she obviously passed down to me - so as long as she's physically able, I'll try my best to make them come true.
And yes, I did finish that Grand Tour as planned. Caught the plane on the very next night for what was to be the first of my many, many fabled voyages. After all, good things do come to those who wait.