May 29th 2017 – home

We’ve had a pretty nice week, considering. Mr P was was working away on Monday and Tuesday so I invited the Sisters, mum, Auntie J and Little D round on Monday evening. We sat in the garden and drank fruit cider. The evening had originally meant to be a breakout night for The Blonde Sister but I wasn’t bothered by the gate-crashers (I don’t think I’ve seen my aunt properly since our wedding four years ago) and they left early meaning that The Blonde Sister and I could resume our original plan. She seems awfully down at the moment. Toddlerdom seems to be taking its toll and I don’t suppose living in a building site helps matters either although she does seem really interested in the progress of the extension even going so far as to email us pictures of the work in hand which I duly delete, unopened.

It’s the first time I’ve ever heard my sister complain about motherhood which is a miracle as the girls are two and a half now. She even went so far as to bemoan her capabilities as a mother, saying she wasn’t cut out for it which is a truly ludicrous statement. From day one, she threw herself into it wholeheartedly and is a brilliant, patient mum. I think most parents find this stage of parenthood hard – they don’t call it The Terrible Twos for nothing – but, again, it’s another mark against having children myself. She even said she wouldn’t blame me if I chose to remain kid-free. She left at about half ten after a couple of Guinnesses and a glass of red, hopefully feeling a bit better.

On Friday night, we went for dinner at Mr and Mrs C’s – almost a year after our previous visit. To make up for the fact that it was really our turn to host, Mr P decided to cook over there, as they struggle to get babysitters for their two kids. He made his famous cauliflower and paneer curry but I think having his reputation preceding him put him on edge (they nicknamed him Matt Bains after I espoused his cooking the previous year) and it wasn’t the best curry he’s ever made. He even forgot to add the peas. We had a lovely evening though. Mrs C is so welcoming and warm. I quite happily chatted away to her  whilst Mr P and Mr C were in the kitchen and there were no uncomfortable silences. She even revealed that she’s been writing a novel which inspired me to have a look at mine on Saturday.

On Sunday, we decided to throw an impromptu barbecue for the immediate family, It was the usual, boozy affair which ended with The Redhead Sister and I caterwauling along to Aerosmith – it wouldn’t be a Mr and Mrs P bash without the obligatory rounds of Youtube jukebox and accompanying out-of-tune sing-song.

I purposefully haven’t mentioned the atrocious attack on Manchester at the beginning of last week and, to some, this might seem crass. Many words have already been written about the tragedy and I don’t think I have to add my own just to prove that I found the whole matter extremely distressing and upsetting. Of course I did. We all did. However, the solidarity of the nation and support that occurred immediately after the horrendous event really did warm my heart and made me proud to not only be a Brit but to be a human.

My week was simple but perfectly spent in the light of the Manchester attack – surrounded by loved ones, family and friends, making the most of the sun before the inevitable Bank Holiday downpour and drunkenly screeching along to power ballads late into the night, because we are British and this is what we do.

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