My father would tell you they can afford these extravagant jaunts due to a lifetime of hard work and prudential investments, but I suspect they've established a gun-running operation to the more "unhinged" parts of the Niger Delta. I mean, they've got to fund their chronic pokies addiction somehow.
This time round, they spent time in my mother's birthplace, Ireland - no doubt to finally shoot the gasping Celtic Tiger and add its skin to their collection of ghoulish objets d'art. As they were whisked out of the Republic by burly chaps with Fields of Athenry lyrics tattooed on their foreheads, they bought me some commemorative jewellery.
Specifically, they bought me a ring made of - cue spooky music - Celtic Magic Mood Stone.
Now I know, gentle readers, you'll be laughing at the mere thought that the home of leprechauns, banshees and the Blarney Stone could be be partial to magic. But it's true. The stone is MAGIC. It changes COLOURS, according to your MOODS.
Here it is in blue!
|One ring to rule them all...
|...and in the darkness bind them.
And my favourite - the accompanying guide to linking my emotional states to colours.
|You MUST avoid water. Also, don't feed the ring after midnight.
It's a pretty piece, and does take me back to the late 80s, when mood rings had a resurgence at my primary school. They were generally big chunky things you bought for $2 at your friendly neighbourhood $2 shop.
I love the fact they became a massive fad based on such a silly premise as "sensing your moods" - as if your basic brain function and sense of self couldn't work that out. "Gee, I didn't feel tired and over-worked, but my mood ring's turned black, so it must be true!"
Sadly, there's never been a substantiated link between the colours of mood rings and your actual mood - so my magic ring will have to remain a token of my parents' nefarious escapades. Next on my request list: mood lipstick and a piece of the True Cross.
You think I'm joking about my parents being shady characters, don't you? Well let me just remind you of their combined first names. Imelda Marcus. Yeah. Exactly.