Last week we went off to Sussex with about 50 friends to spend a few days doing an early Christmas. We had a lovely time – didn’t get lost on the way down, or have horrible traffic issues and had a good time socialising. The children dropped into their normal, and some new, friend patterns and i really barely saw them all week. Tuesday we did various crafts and Helen and i ran a puppet making workshop which went down pretty well and provided entertainment in puppet form for the rest of the week. I mostly collected mugs and glasses sporadically (i’m not a natural in a kitchen at the best of times and far too insecure to go in one when i might get told to go away again!) and filled the dishwasher, ate cake and drank tea or water while gossiping with loved friends and people i hadn’t seen for ages.
Wednesday actually went pretty wrong for me; the supposedly good TomTom SatNav on my phone lost me very totally, thanks to being (verified by Helen) completely bonkers and issuing instructions about 20 seconds after the moment had passed. A combination of that, traffic and torrential rain meant i was last to arrive, having got not exactly lost but definitely off the correct line. Of course, i was assuming i was FAR later than everyone else but was relatively composed by the time i arrived, only to be set on by the seriously grumpy volunteer at the South Downs Planetarium, who was rude, grumpy, patronising and unwelcoming and made me so upset by telling me off for being late and meaning everyone had to miss 15 minutes of the show and trying to tell him his job (i only asked him to let the girls go ahead of me while i went to the loo) that i completely lost the plot and dissolved into a hysterical dribbling heap. 🙄 Hormones and a complete lack of ability to stand up for myself or confront people who are being unreasonable are not my friend. I was very embarrassed and mortified to think i had made my (presumably furious) friends, miss the show end.
Ali kindly dried me up and the show itself was excellent, the speaker fab and the planetarium inspiring. The kids loved it. And when we got out i discovered he’d been pretty miserable with everyone – considering it was an event we’d paid for, i think he was completely out of order. Helen and Chris took me off for lunch as i was being frankly pathetic and still doing the stupid ‘shaky chest’ thing for about 4 hours afterwards. We had a lovely lunch which the children were delightful throughout and then Helen came home in my car (otherwise i had decided to move to Chichester, settle down and never leave the town so i didn’t have to drive again!) and confirmed the SatNav was bonkers. Unfortunately, i made her late home to cook (had completely lost my cool and couldn’t face speeding along) and got her in trouble i think – but veggie curry was ready in time and very delicious, as was the other one, which i ate the end of Maddy’s of – sorry about being late Nic!
Kids all did a talent show, Maddy sang, Amelie told some dreadful joke and Fran announced and organised in tandem with Gwenny. Maddy was also in a truly “organised by kids” bizarre play – we were very amused 😀
Thursday me and the girls put finishing touches to Secret Santa presents, we did more puppets and then there was an excellent Christmas dinner (thank you!) and a fab Secret Santa giving, which i annoyingly missed the beginning of. We loved all ours (thanks to Fishes, Nattys and Wednesday Friends!) and ours seemed to go down well too. Made a lovely occasion and was fabulous to see all the creativity 🙂
Friday we went home; i braved the Dartford Tunnel – when i was little i lived in that bit of Essex and the tunnel scared the wits out of me (i was less than 5, lol) – the old side always had condensation in it, which i always assumed was river water dripping through. I still avoid it now and decided i needed to face the demon. FORTUNATELY, it didn’t collapse on us 😆 but UNFORTUNATELY (my children have played that game a lot recently) there was an accident on the other side and we sat in traffic for an hour. (Not as long as some people in the group elsewhere though 🙁 ). FORTUNATELY we had got through the booths before they started shutting them. UNFORTUNATELY the SatNav lost the plot repeatedly again. FORTUNATELY i took no notice when it decided i had moved 500yrds to the left and needed to go to Lewisham 😆
We really enjoyed the holiday and am very grateful to Nic for organising it. I missed the people who couldn’t be there and missed the bowls of spare food for lunches normally created by communal cooking 😆 as i hadn’t really thought to make sure i had lunchy stuff for my “endless cooked meals a day” children. I didn’t reorient myself to a different format quickly enough to feel useful and felt bad about that but did relearn my old waitress table clearing skills! Loved the evening chatting, loved the cake, loved there being lots of oranges to eat 🙂 and quite liked not drinking wine, so being clear headed the next day! So thanks to all for the lovely time 🙂