This is going to be a very selfish, mean-spirited, churlish, curmudgeonly, whingeing and Grumpy Old Woman sort of post. There. You’ve been warned. For more enlightened, friendly, positive, cheerful reading you could try some of the links on my blogroll instead. Iota’s started posting again about life in the States and she’s always entertaining and currently much more enthusiastic than me. Or there’s Reluctant Memsahib who writes about homeschooling, schooling of the boarding variety but mainly day to day living in the Tanzanian outback. And you could try Potty Mummy, Mother at Large and Pig in the Kitchen for general entertainment and cooking tips. Oh, and I nearly forgot Fidra books who are offering to give away books to schools. I hope you’ve all gone now so I can complain in peace.
Well, brother-in-law got engaged at Christmas. Good news! Exciting news, even, as his fiancee only appeared on the scene in September; Mother-in-law had, I think, secretly started to give up hope of any more grandchildren and suddenly hope came galloping into our Christmas celebrations. Sister-in-law to be, who keeps bats and rats (yes, really! And legally), seems to be very nice and will, I’m sure, fit in well the rest of the family once everyone gets to know her. So that’s not why I’m whingeing.
By New Year they’d decided there was no point hanging around, bats or otherwise, and they would get married as soon as humanly possible. Date No. 1, a weekday in mid-February coincided with my last chemo treatment and would have meant three days off school for the boys so we said we wouldn’t be there. You can always tell when there are no school age children yet, can’t you? So Date No 2 was settled upon. Good Friday. March 21st. 1330 in the wilds of Somerset. Great.
Having already vetoed one date, it was a little difficult to veto a second although brother-in-law No 2 had a very good try. For starters, Easter is so early this year that every school on the planet will be breaking up on the Thursday – well, every school that doesn’t charge fees, that is – so the whole of Britain will be travelling on Good Friday. We’ll have to leave on the Thursday to defy the M6 parking lot and have any chance of getting there on time. Brother-in-law No2 and his partner already had other arrangements which they’ll no doubt change.
But that’s not my real gripe. Oh no! We’re going on holiday at Easter. Yes, we are going on holiday at Easter. Our last family holiday was in October 2006, quite recent by most standards, I appreciate, when we went to Crete, we experienced the 100 year storm and the Greek government declared a state of emergency. It did stop raining long enough for us to visit Gnossus (wonderful) and go snorkelling off the beach, so all was not lost. We promised the boys we’d go somewhere in 2007 where it wouldn’t rain but events intervened. Grandad died and Standard Grades loomed large, so Easter was spent in Somerset and at home. “We’ll go in the summer.” I spent the summer in plaster. “October’s a good time for a holiday.” The surgeon’s knife did for that one. Christmas, mid-chemo, was for family in Somerset and London. Meanwhile, my brother in Abu Dhabi was demanding that we visit the desert and, with the OK from the oncologist, we settled on Easter. We all feel in need of a proper holiday.
It was going to be so simple. There are flights from Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi that don’t break the bank and don’t involve getting to London first. A week in the desert, we thought, and then perhaps a few days or a week somewhere else in sunshine. According to yesterday’s papers, Vitamin D is good for cancer prevention. We could coincide with my nieces’ visit as well. We bragged about it at Christmas but were clearly ignored. That’ll teach me.
Oh well. I’m over it now and I’ve stopped growling at any talk of weddings although I can’t help sighing at the thought of something so simple suddenly becoming hugely complicated and expensive. We will still go but a few days later than planned. We’ll still overlap with the nieces. We’ll either have to curtail the extra jaunt or take a day or two from the start of term. (Did I say that? The mean, cruel mother who makes her eldest turn up on the last day of term to watch videos? “I don’t care if you don’t do anything and your friends aren’t there. If the teachers turn up, you’ll turn up.”) We’ll somehow factor in getting to the wedding and back with happy smiles on our faces.
But just a final thought. Who on earth gets married on Good Friday? A day of mourning and the most holy day in the Christian calendar? My hypocritical, non-church going, adult self knows that we would probably have flown on holiday on Good Friday, but not without a twinge of childhood Catholic guilt creeping in, particularly as 3pm loomed. “Should be in Church” I still think every year. Perhaps it shows how secular society has become, that we can plan a wedding without any thought as to what Good Friday really means.
OK, grumbling over. I’ve written it down – that’s it done, dusted, forgiven. I’ll make my next post a happy, enthusiastic post I promise. From now on I’ll be enthusiastic about weddings and holidays. Good Friday is, after all, about forgiveness is it not?