Selfish Saturday: Tribal gathering

marqueeI had been sort of dreading the coming of last weekend for a long time. We were invited to a joint birthday party – my mother-in-law’s sister was turning 80 and her son 50, within a few days, so they were to throw a big bash at great-aunt’s South Wales place. There were so many ‘errrrrr’ elements for me there: a cross-country drive (and back) over a single weekend, in a heatwave, no less; as well as a whole load of family I had never met (and the husband, not for years, if not decades). Unfamiliar surroundings and people; you can’t possibly put me in a more stressful situation.

As it turned out, though, it all went mostly smoothly. We decided on a rental car, since our little dink no longer has air-conditioning or a sound system, and a small delay by someone else got us a big beast of a SUV at no extra charge. (Score!) The drive down was rather stressful, as we ran a bit late, hit Saturday traffic and only got to our hotel less than an hour before the party. I don’t think I’ve ever done the shower-groom-get dressed thing that fast!

At the party itself, the young one made himself instantly at home, off to play with his cousin’s kids, and I got introduced to lots of people with either the Welsh daftness I appreciate or the Yorkshire sharpness I appreciate even more. Good food, a buzz-but-no-hangover-inducing punch, and general acceptance in the sun. By 10pm, when we finally got back to the hotel, I was more than ready for bed, and I slept way better than on my battered mattress at home.

After glutton’s heaven (i.e. a buffet breakfast), the drive home was smooth sailing without any hitches. I hadn’t thought that spending about one-third of a 30-hour journey on the road could be that painless. I suspect spousal unit would consider a big beast like that, if it were within our budget.

Of course, after behaving over that weekend, my hayfever returned with a vengeance on Monday, enough that I had to reschedule my dental appointment from Wednesday to two weeks later, because there was no way I could keep my mouth open long enough without accidents.

This is the home stretch for the end of the school year, and one of the toughest times. Lots of PA’ing for the young one’s busy social life (even though this year he didn’t have a birthday party, and didn’t even bat an eyelid at missing the school fete to make it to Wales), and the heatwave still going strong. September can’t come quick enough.

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