Hello, hello, we’re back, we’re washing eighteen zillion loads of laundry – I’m sure we can’t possibly own that many pairs of socks, let alone have worn them all over the course of a mere ten days, but there they all are, and most of them have clearly been in big muddy boots for hours and hours.
As have my feet. Poor feet.
Holiday High-Lights –
- Sun. Lovely long days of bright and cheerful early summer sun. I am all brownish and glowy. Despite haphazard but determined plastering on of Factor 15. And standing on top of a hill looking out at miles and miles of finest English countryside, jewel-like in its very greenness, with a soft breeze ruffling your hair, and a red kite, or even an osprey, balancing above you on the same breeze, ah, well now. You can feel your very bones smiling.
- The ospreys. They have a nest! They have three eggs! No, wait, they have three chicks! The male has brought a fish back to the nest! Look! Look! The male is soaring right overhead! OMG, it really has a six foot wingspan!
- On the theme of birds of prey, twelve red kites as we drove up through Oxfordshire, and three as we drove back down. On the day we found out Pikaia had died, golly, a whole year ago now, we walked about for hours in the local cemetery, chiefly because it was deserted, and partly because it seemed appropriate, and we saw a red kite, flying away from us. As they’re endangered, and creeping back from near total extinction, I am a little superstitious about them. Seeing 15 of them on one holiday was extraordinarily exciting.
- Eating our heads off. We struck lucky and had some very fine meals indeed this holiday, and it’s only thanks to the fact we also walked for miles and miles that I don’t weigh 12 lbs more than I did last week.
- In fact, I weigh a couple of lbs less. Feel free to hate me. Thank you.
- Though I think The Hairy Farmer Family may have put paid to that. We stopped off on the way home, to raid HFF Wifey’s fridge and over-excite her child, her dogs and her chicks. Oh God. The Mississippi Mud Pie That Was Not Banoffee Pie. Oh God. Oh God. Chocolate custard was the one best thing about boarding school, and she gives me a pie full of it. Yes, I had seconds. Totally. I only didn’t have thirds because even I can’t store food in my cheek-pouches and still talk coherently. Also, there was the lemon meringue ice-cream.
- I still think I shall kidnap HFF Wifey on day and rush up to Gretna Green with her and we shall live in food heaven for ever and ever so there.
- The view from Aphra‘s house. Loved the apricot crumble too. In fact, Puddings of Wonder and Delight were a big theme this holiday. Hi, Aphra! Thank you for lunch!
- Femi.nax Ul.tra. I actually would probably still buy this drug even if it was made by Nazis. I love it that much. But see below.
- H, who was being as patient and sweet as ever, which is to say canonization looms. H full stop. H, high-light of my entire life.
Holiday Low-Lights (there’s always some) –
- The exceedingly wet day, waterlogged trainers, and the exceedingly wet socks that went with them, squelch squelch squelch squelch, all day long. Urgh (squelch squelch squelch squelch squelch…)
- Clomid-induced weeping tantrum over a pair of cheap binoculars. Or, more to the point, over the grovelling apology that H did not instantly produce when he broke said binoculars, admittedly while trying to adjust them for me and my freaky eye-sight. (He fixed them later. They work fine now. Umm.). At least we kept another sight-seeing couple mildly entertained for some minutes, before I realised we had an audience and stormed off to the car in a kind of furnace of humiliation and rage.
- Tourists (oh, not us, we’re not tourists, dear me no. We’re visitors). We cleverly chose to birthday and anniverserate during Half Term, and landing face-first in the crowds of families trying to keep assorted rug-rats, ankle-biters and pout-faced teens entertained or at least quiet. No luck. The hills were alive with the sound of whinging. There are moments when I really, really really, wonder why the hell I want kids at all.
- My period. In full down-pour all Saturday and Sunday (Sunday being my birthday, of course, obviously, goes without saying, ah ha ha ha). We change a super-plus-extra tampon every two hours at these times, and are wearing a sticky-back duvet, because there are gushes, you know, and therefore we are also wearing a tunic, so people can’t see either just how padded the crotch of my jeans looks, or that the padding has been ineffectual, oh hurray. So the fact I went on a 7-hour hike on Sunday has everything to do with the availability of pub toilets and with Femi.nax Ult.ra, which, dear ladies, please listen, WORKS. I take it, I am not in much pain. I don’t take it, I curl up in a ball, blench, vomit, faint, etc. But see above.
Holiday WTF Moments (because what is life, without the odd WTF moment?) –
- The heavily pregnant waitress, waiting on us, yes, and gently pressing her belly against the table every time she brought us something. Torn between guilt and concern – why isn’t she sitting down and getting me to bring her stuff? – and irritation, because, you know, miscarriage anniversaries deserve to be free of pregnant bellies bumping into your very fork-wielding hand as you tackle your steak and try to think happy thoughts.
- Trying to hold a detailed conversation with the ACU about my monitoring scans, dates for, over my mobile phone, with a crap signal, in the rain, on the corner of a busy street, surrounded by tourists, most of whom were family groups. Managed it without saying ‘period’, ‘blood’, ‘ovary’ or ‘uterine lining’ out loud, though I did have to say Clomid at least twice.
- On which subject, hot flushes. In the middle of the night. I wake up running with sweat. It’s revolting. I don’t like sweating. I stopped taking the Clomid five days ago. Enough sweating, thank you.
- One of my eight brothers and sisters remembered my birthday. One. Unum. One. I will buy him a drink next week, and the rest can go screw themselves.
And now, I must go and do more laundry. Please excuse me.