Today was meant to be about cleaning (my Mum and her in-laws are coming for lunch tomorrow) and my son getting his new bike.
We managed the second part – collecting the bike from the friend who kindly picked it up from the ebay seller. Unfortunately, it’s been raining most of the day and, during the short time he had a go, he fell off twice. The downside of buying online is not being able to feel how heavy the thing is. My son’s new bike is much heavier than his sister’s. He’ll get used to it. Of course now my daughter has decided she needs a new bike, because the new one is a bit bigger than hers.
We got back from the supermarket to discover that littlest Martin had a temperature of 38.9C (102F). Then Mummy Martin began to feel poorly too. So this afternoon has been about survival, paracetamol and running round with no clothes on (him, not me!)
We fell asleep watching Tangled and littlest Martin got a bit hotter (39.9C). Started planning a trip to the walk-in centre, but thankfully ice cream seemed to bring it down again. Darn bugs.
Now we’re curled up on the sofa, kids are watching TV on the iPads and I’m watching Wimbledon. I’m meant to be editing Baby Blues to send to the proofreader on Sunday (haven’t abandoned the cleaning. They’ll have to take us as they find us), but my brain is fuzzy. Wondering if I should put her off for a week or two, but I’d rather not.
Murray was playing really well, until I started watching, and now Robredo is fighting back. Oops. Oh, he won. Good stuff.
Is it bedtime yet?________________________________________________________________________________
Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog:
“Claire, thank God you’re already here.”
Kim ran across the terrace and threw herself into her friend’s arms. “I’m so nervous. Find me gin, please. Tell me I’m doing the right thing.”
Claire laughed and hugged Kim tight. “You’re doing the right thing. The bar will open soon. Everything is going to be fine. The ceremony isn’t until 4pm, and it’s only 9 o’clock. Calm down.”
“I’ve been awake since 5am. Poor Mum, I’ve been driving her bonkers. She didn’t want to leave so early, but I insisted.”
“You stayed locally last night?” Claire cursed under her breath. If only she’d known, it would have been the perfect excuse to escape Michael. “I thought you had rehearsals.”
“I told them I couldn’t make it and they should give the understudy a run through. The director didn’t like it, but as they’ll all be drinking at our expense this weekend, they can just lump it!”
Claire’s brain reeled with the barrage of words. “I thought we were paying our own way? Wasn’t that the point?”
“Jeff’s parents are insisting on providing alcohol. They’re horrified that we asked everyone to cough up the cash. Jeff’s Mums says it’s common.”
The girls linked arms and walked to the edge of the terrace, taking a moment to appreciate the rolling hills spread out in front of them.
“What are you doing out here, anyway? Have you had breakfast?” Kim turned to face Claire.
“I’m hiding from Michael. I had breakfast early, and I’ve been out for a walk.”
“Michael, what’s he doing here already?” Kim frowned and pursed her lips, the sparkle in her eye fading.
“He came last night, the same as I did.” She saw Kim’s expression, and grimaced. “Not with me! I came to make sure I was here when you arrived. He had the same thought. Actually, I suspect he came to talk to me before I became caught up in wedding fever.”
Kim made a face as if she felt sick. “And did he? Come over all mushy?”
“Didn’t give him the chance. You’ve never heard so much relentless nonsense spilling from my mouth.”
Kim raised an eyebrow. “I probably have. Poor Michael, I almost feel sorry for him.”
Claire glared and swung out at Kim’s arm. “Cheeky cow!” She laughed. “Come on, I need a coffee. Let’s go and find the bridal suite and get you settled in. I want a bounce on your four-poster bed!”
“Oh, Kim, you look amazing.”
Claire stood in front of her friend and felt tears well up. Brushing them away, she reached forward to tug at a ringlet and straighten Kim’s string of pearls. Between them, she and Kim’s Mum had curled the red locks and pinned them up carefully to hide any blonde roots. The cream charity shop wedding dress fitted perfectly and contrasted beautifully with the red roses and stargazer lilies in her bouquet. Claire smoothed down the pink bridesmaid dress they’d managed to find for her, in the same shop. It didn’t fit quite as well as Kim’s, and she’d had to pin it to her bra to make sure it stayed in place.
Time had drained away like bath water, too fast for comfort. Claire had successfully avoided Michael, who’d been sent to put up signs, usher arrivals to their rooms and generally make himself useful. Every time they bumped into each other, he opened his mouth as if to speak, and Claire found a reason to escape. Flowers to be collected, the cake to be checked, hair to be dressed, make-up applied.
Now, it was ten to four, and everything was ready. Jeff had arrived and been whisked to the room allocated for the civil ceremony, while Kim hid in the bridal suite.
“Having it all in one building is genius,” Claire said to Kim, as she whisked a final brush of blusher across her cheeks. “You don’t need to worry about cars breaking down, traffic, parking or anything. I once knew a girl whose limo didn’t turn up, and she was an hour late. No one told the groom: he thought she’d changed her mind. It was awful.”
Kim shook her head, as if brushing off a pesky fly. “Don’t tell me things like that. Knowing my luck I’ll trip on my dress, fall down the stairs and break a leg.”
“That’s why you have a maid of honour. It’s my job to hold your dress and, if need be, carry you to the altar to say your vows before the paramedics arrive.”
Giggling, the friends linked arms and headed for the door.