When I answer, my grandparent’s living room pops up and I can see my mother and grandfather peering, puzzled, straight into the camera.
Pa: “Now how do you…”
Mum: “Don’t press that one!”
Me: “Hello? Can you hear me?”
Pa: “Well, where’s the other little thing?”
Me: “Hello? Did you call me?”
Mum: “It’s somewhere down the bottom there.”
Me: “You called me accidentally, didn’t you. And you can’t hear me.”
Pa: “I can’t find it.”
Me: “OK then, I’m just going to hang out around here until you figure things out.”
Mum: “No, not that one!”
Mum: “Oh, look. There’s Lisa. She’s, uh, got her bra on.”
Pa (laughing): “She’s getting dressed.”
Me: “Oops, I didn’t think the camera showed that far.”
Pa: “Why can’t we hear her?”
Mum: “I’m sure the volume switch is around here somewhere.”
Four minutes later, they finally find the volume switch and I find the rest of my clothes. Pa tells me all about the chook shed he is building for my cousin, and Nanna tells me about all the delicious baking she did for family Christmas. Then Mum takes control of the iPad.
Mum: “I’m going to show you something that will make you homesick.”
Me: “Great, thanks, that’s just what I need.”
Mum turns the iPad around so that I can see one of my favourite views in the world – the river out my grandparent’s window. It’s a gorgeous, sunny day. The tide is in and the water and sky are both a clear, shiny blue.
Mum: “Can you see the guy waterskiing?”
Me: “Yes, I can see him.”
Mum: “And the dog?”
Me: “There’s a dog waterskiing?”
Mum: “No, not waterskiing, on the footpath.”
Me: “Oh, OK. Yup, I can see that dog.”
Mum: “So do you feel homesick?”
Me: “Yes, yes I do actually. Thanks for that.”
It seems that you no longer need to be on the same continent as your family to experience classic family moments during the holidays.