My last post summarized most of my time off, but missed out on the bits on either side!
The first Saturday was our party to celebrate what would have been my eldest daughter's 21st birthday. We went shopping on the Thursday to get in the supplies, then started preparing some of the food on the Friday. Saturday morning we were up with the lark (a good old English phrase!) and cooking stuff for the party. I did things like mini pizzas and fried chicken wraps, while my wife did amazing things with puff pastry.
The weather was OK, cloudy but not cold or raining, and gradually cleared so that my about 3pm it was blazing sunshine.
Doors were open at 12 o'clock. Things started slowly, with a few people drifting in and out, but by around 2.30 it was mayhem - I don't think our little house has ever had so many people in it! Things then slowed down, with the final guests drifting away at about 8 o'clock.
Then it was balloon time. Every year we end the day by releasing a balloon each, so at around 8.30 we released a selection of Winnie the Poohs, Piglets and Eeyores into the darkening sky, watching them drift off in the breeze.
As an intriguing side note it seems that one of the balloons that we released last year caused a UFO incident! Someone took a photo of it a few miles to the East and submitted it as a sighting! I can hear Sophie laughing at that right now!
We all had a great day, remembering our daughter in a way that she would have loved.
Winding forward to the next weekend, we were invited to the birthday party of an old friend of ours. It involved a short train trip to a nearby town that we have never really visited. Before leaving I looked up where we were going on Google Maps and found the route.
Some of you will know that I do not have a good reputation when it comes to finding my way around. This reputation was in evidence on Sunday as we left the train station, with me boldly leading the way and the kids immediately declaring that we were lost! After a few minutes of this I told the kids that I knew exactly where we were, but the protests continued. So I looked around, saw a local and told him what street we were looking for. He confirmed that we were indeed on the right track!
In your face, doubting child! Daddy knows what he is doing! Hah, my reputation is being restored. Sort of. Sometimes you just can't win, can you? Why didn't I get Google Maps to plan a route for me? Why didn't I print it out so we could all see where we were going?
Next time, next time I will surrender the role of navigator - someone else can do it, I will just tag along and deny all responsibility...
I DID enjoy being right, though, just this once...