“Let’s start a blog!” we said.
“Let’s make it humorous!”
“Let’s make it about us experiencing culture!”

Not off to a great start as we couldn’t even decide on a name.

We thought of ‘Travels With Meemaw’ only to discover Meemaw derives from the US Deep South and means Grandmother. Not the theme we were after.

‘My Travels With Mamme’ believing this to be a play on words from a cult classic movie, only to realise the movie is called ‘My Dinner With Andre’. So that was a bust.

‘Travels With Mother’ sounds like something from the 1940’s.

‘Eureka!’ We thought ‘We’ve cracked it – Travels With Mama`i!’
Why? I hear you ask. Well Mama`I is Irish Gaelic for Mammy (its pronunciation).
Mum is Irish born, so this is apt.
What if people can’t pronounce Mama`i?
What if there’s confusion?
Then, we’d look full of sh*te.

How about our first name initials incorporated into the title?
M&S Treks – sounds like a shopping trip to Marksy’s…
S&M Adventures – let’s not even go there…

Initials are not going to work then.

We put a call out to our talented, witty friends on social media – so thanks to all of you for the suggestions, you are brilliant! We decided on Races Around The World.

‘But you not travelling the world!’ I hear you think. Nobody said we were going to.
Instead, it is our world. The world we inhabit. The Race world.

There you have it – and we’re off!

“Turn the air con on,” Mum says. “I’m too hot. I can’t get comfortable. How much longer?” We’ve not even started on our journey for five minutes yet.

Taylor Swift’s Greatest Hits CD blasting through the car speakers is starting to grate now. I’d asked Mum not to bring it, but she insisted. Who’d have thought a joke Mother’s Day gift could cause so much joy, for Mum at least.

Our drive is going well, until a strange rattling noise begins to seep over Taylor Swift.

At first, it didn’t bother me. I tried to play it down. If Mum wasn’t going to mention it, neither was I. Why worry the woman who recently asked if I was heading back onto the motorway via a no entry, wrong direction sign…

Then it happened. Mum ejected Taylor Swift to change CDs – she was eyeing up the Wham’s Greatest Hits album – and stopped.

“What’s that rattling?” she asked.

“What rattling?”

A beat, as the quiet shudder happened again.

“That rattling. Oh god! What is it?”

“It’ll be nothing,” I reassure.

“Sounds like it’s coming from the wheels. The front wheels. They must be loose. Oh god!”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

“Pull over. Pull over and check. I mean now!”

As we were travelling at 70mph in the fast lane, that wasn’t going to happen.

“There’s services in a mile. We’ll stop there,” I say.

That was the longest mile ever. Felt like a hundred. Rattle, rattle. Every few seconds – and no Taylor Swift to drown it out.

I could hear the dashboard clock change minutes. Like Big Ben. Tick tock. Tick tock. All the while, Mum grinding her fingernails deeper and deeper into my upholstery, until we pulled into the services.

Check the wheels. Check the nuts. Check the engine. Nothing.

“What about the engine?” suggests Mum.

She turns over the engine and does a bit of revving as I stand, , bonnet open, staring into the engine. I have no idea what I am looking for, but the rattling has stopped.
Off we go.

Rattle, rattle. Again it begins.

“Hang on,” says Mum. She leans forward and picks up the water bottle than sits in the driver’s cup holder. The rattling stops. It had been the bottle swaying, knocking against the holder. Nothing more.

“I knew it,” said Mum.

That’s is why she’s the mother and I am the daughter.