Arriving early

A momentous weekend – we were early to a family occasion and I do some tidying.

Another weekend of activity. We were due to attend my niece’s naming ceremony at Saturday lunchtime, but by 11am everyone was still in pjs. It was not looking promising. We have, unfortunately, a bit of a record of being late to family events. In fact, on one occasion, pre-children even, we arrived so late at a wedding that they were signing the wedding book at the time. We had set out a little late, I was driving and we had forgotten the wedding invitation. The trouble was we had not checked what the name of the church was. In an effort to save time, I had tried a new way of entering the village where the wedding was. In my imagination the village was just one street, but in fact it was substantially bigger than that. We saw a church and some weddingy people and decided to park up. When we entered the church, everyone was standing up and we could only see their backs. I glanced down at the programme. "The wedding of David and Christine", it said in gold. Unfortunately, David and Christine were not the names of the people whose wedding we were supposed to attend. I was laughing so much I cried so my brother smuggled me out, telling the people on the door that I wasn’t feeling well. We visited another church en route. Still not the right one before finally locating the one on the invitation. This is remembered on every family occasion when we are late, which is to say, every family occasion.

However, I got a sudden burst of energy at 11am on Saturday and got everyone dressed and ready, stopped at the local bookshop for the present and we managed to get to the event not only on time but 15 minutes early. Count them! Everyone was in total shock. My niece was very, very sweet and did not protest at all about her name, unlike bonkers daughter who still hankers after being called Rosie. The girls were great and put on a waiter service for everyone. Big girl daughter went round asking for orders and wrote it all down in her very best handwriting, once someone had explained to her how to form the letters for, eg, Diet Coke.
We got home for X Factor after being stuck, as per usual, on the M25 and diverting to a KFC as everyone was starving. I was waiting in the car while my partner did the KFC honours and it soon became apparent that there was some sort of weird event happening. Hundreds of South Mimms youth were gathering. They kind of collected round about 40 cars in the car park, stood there for about 10 minutes then got into the cars and went off. It was a bit like 2001 A Space Odyssey, but without the spaceship.
Sunday was spent cleaning – the guinea pigs, the rooms, the children. Bonkers daughter manages to convert any room she touches into some sort of nest full of odd assortments of paper and half-made inventions. She has a blackboard at the end of her bed on which she has stuck all the names of her classmates and three labels saying ‘First warning’, ‘Second warning’ and ‘Third warning’. There are rather a lot of people under First warning and one particular person who seems to have gone past Third warning and is now apparently visiting the head teacher. As I was cleaning, the bonkers one said she would help, but in fact ended up creating some sort of ‘play area for my babies’. I anticipate having to do another clean very shortly.

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