Yesterday evening my other half headed out to a local music festival with her brother, and I had planned to have a quiet night in with my daughters – watch a movie, eat popcorn, and not do much on purpose. That’s not quite how things panned out.
While sitting at work yesterday a message appeared from a friend asking if I might like to visit in the evening – they were ordering take-away, and I would be welcome to join them. I explained my plans, but left the door half-open – “you never know – I might need a drink later”.
At about 9pm last night I decided it might be fun to go see them after-all. Within half an hour I had jumped in the shower, changed clothes, and arrived at their door. I vaguely remember drinking a lot of wine, and eating leftover curry (I had already eaten several hours earlier with the girls). I also remember being told all about a succession of iPad games by our friend’s youngest son – I think he took a shine to me because I showed an interest. He was also massively impressed that I knew the names of lots of dinosaurs.
I arrived back home at about 11pm, greeted by the sight of our eldest daughter crouched on the kitchen floor in her pyjamas, her head under a cupboard.
“Are you ok?”
“The cats have brought a mouse in – it’s under here – I’m trying to catch it”
I quickly explained that she would have no chance catching a wild mouse, and set about clearing the route from it’s hiding place to the back door. We then started lifting things up to “encourage” it to run – and run it did, like a missile – over the step, and out into the darkness. Poor little thing. I half expected one of our cats to be sitting outside in the garden, waiting. Cats are good at waiting.
I woke this morning at 7am, and half expected to have a colossal hangover. Somehow I had gotten away with it, and scraped myself out of bed – calling on our youngest daughters to get up. They were departing for Guide Camp for a week – so there were checklists to be gone through, packing to be finalised, breakfasts to be eaten, and lots of shouting to be done.
Two hours later we waved goodbye to a coach full of Girl Guides at the local church hall. They are off to camp on the coast, sing songs, cook over open fires, and do whatever else girl guides do. We returned home to a very quiet house.
Next on my itinerary for the day was a shopping trip to buy Miss 16 clothes from the outward-bound place in town (she’s off walking in the Lake District next week), buy a poncho for my other half (who was heading back to the music festival, which was forecast horrific rain all day), and get food for dinner. I will admit to also ducking into the phone shop en-route to see if the Nokia 3310 had arrived in stock yet.
Miss 16 likes it when I go clothes shopping with her. I have a knack of finding things on the rails that will suit her. It never occurs to her that we might know her at all well, and might have a brain in our head. Of course the main reason she likes me being with her is “The Bank of Dad”…
This afternoon has been strange. With my other half gone until the early hours of tomorrow morning, and only Miss 16 for company, the house is really quiet. The strangest experience is rooms remaining as you left them. When we are all here, the entire house is kind of like a game of Boggle – where it’s entire contents get shaken up every time you turn your back.
I fell asleep on the sofa for an hour this afternoon. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Usually there will be a knock on the door every ten minutes – some neighborhood kid or other asking if one of ours is going out to play (or the little boy from across the road trying to sneak in to play video games).
While writing this the cooker is on, baking a shepherd’s pie. I have to go put the vegetables on in a minute. Myself and Miss 16 are going to sit on our own in the lounge and watch rubbish on the TV all evening while eating ourselves to a standstill, and it’s going to be brilliant. I don’t think I can face any more wine though.