For the first time in forever, part of this blog is actually about a walk!
As regular readers of our blog know, Incredible Grandson 'popped' into the world in March. Beautiful Daughter will of course take umbridge to the term ‘popped’ to describe his birth, as it was a touch traumatic for her, although she was off her tits on gas and air at the time!
Since March IG has been hugifying nicely, with his nibbleable toes and cute froggy legs and, as you can imagine, I have been champing at the bit to get up to the North East to finally meet him!
So BD and I made her my 'bubble' and we planned a visit.
On the bubble thing - I mean what the actual fuck? I really don't think it is just single people/people on their own that need to see their families! I did feel a touch patronised although being able to go and see her and IG somewhat assuaged my irritation at faceless patronisation from our Government!
I booked a couple of days off work, as I'm no longer used to being out of my house, I thought I might struggle with the drive (I didn't).
I did however, unusually for me, decide that I ought to actually clean Gertie. She has been part of the family since January, thus had a thick lining of Dude fur internally.
I got to work with enthusiasm, muck out the random detritus forming its own eco system in the passenger footwell, fired up the Shark vacuum cleaner - which you may remember I bought just before Christmas. I actually discovered how to clean the filters the other day, so I can no longer manage to hoover the sitting room carpet as the suction now defies my weak and feeble arms and I can’t move the damn thing. I switched the car on to open the windows and move the snazzy electric seat thingys and set to!
There ensued a game of chase the fucking idiot dog around the car, as obviously I wasn't allowed to clean the car without his supervision.
Hoovered the boot - Dude in the back seat suspiciously peering into said boot. I move to hoover the back seat - Nob, who is frightened of the hoover, jumps into the boot. I finish the back seat and look into the boot, only to find a new layer of hair. This happened multiple times. It was a fabulous game - thought nobody except Dude....I persevered and after a gruelling hour and a half of solid hoovering I was finished, Gertie was all clean and fresh smelling and I lay on on my living room floor exhausted.
I shut the idiot back in the house and headed to the garage to fill Gertie up. Imagine my horror when I switched her on and there was a small whirring noise and nothing else. No power, nothing. I indulged in a very un Pip like bout of tears, whilst berating myself for being a complete twat and forgetting to turn the car off completely whilst cleaning it.
Once I had finished crying, I toodled along to see the nice AA man who lives 3 doors down and politely begged him to help, which to his credit he did straight away. Now, I normally slag the AA man off for parking his large yellow van opposite my driveway, making it near impossible for me to reverse Gertie out in one go and usually ends up with me having to do a twelve point turn to leave the house. However, on this occasion, I was delighted his big yellow van was around as it meant he was at home.
'Pop the bonnet for me would you' he asked politely
I started at him blankly....
'erm' I answered slightly embarrassed 'I'm not actually sure how it opens?'
Ten minutes later a slightly flustered AA man has found the opening lever thingy and is plugging his magic briefcase wotsit into Gertie's engine.
'Fire her up' he enthusiastically instructs.
With slight trepidation, imagining the poor old girl exploding and finishing me off before I get to meet IG - I turn the key, and Gertie's asthmatic rumble fills the air waves.
'Best sound in the world that pet isn't it' Mr Cheerful AA man states - sporting a huge grin.
I have actually joined the AA off the back of this slightly embarrassing episode! And feel a bit bad for the rude words I’ve used over the past six months to describe the AA man, none of which were flattering.
The following morning having duly filled Gertie's frigging HUGE fuel tank, off I set, dropping Dude at my Mother’s abode en route (or Grandma as Dude calls her, in return she calls him Darling.. he adores her) Giving Ma a sneaky non socially distanced cuddle and then pointing Gertie up the A1 North.
The A1 is a pig of a road, with its own little identity crisis, as it doesn't know whether its a dual carriage way, motorway or B road.
What is true for me is that once I get past Morpeth I get that Danish thing - Hygge, like a toasty warm happy content home-ish feeling.
As I’m tootling (or rather lumbering, Gertie finds a tootle difficult) through the country lanes to get to Beautiful Daughter’s house, feeling quite smug as I don't have the satnav on and I'm going in the right direction (I assumed, although I did at one point realise that I was going in circles) I suddenly remember with a sickening thump that I don't have any wine for the evening, nothing loathe (Editor’s note: does anyone know what this word actually means?), I stop in the smallest place known to humankind and pop into a confusingly large Co-Op purchase wine and other drinkie necessities and head on, after a chat with a little old lady about home made elderflower cordial, apparently good at Christmas when you get visitors that don’t drink.....(who are these people?)
When I arrive at the farm, through some of the most stunning countryside in England, Beautiful Daughter and her mate are in the garden- they are doing a 300,000 steps for Breast Cancer challenge during June and have just finished their daily route march. Lovely Friend's Baby stares at me for 20 minutes in total silence and suspicion. Which was unsettling......
Later we retreat inside - it was getting a bit hot - and Incredible Grandson wakes up and treats me to the biggest gummiest most beautiful smile in the entire universe ever, he then proceeds to chortle, chat and generally be an utter delight for the rest of the evening.
I wonder if there is anything more delightful that seeing a small person sploshing around in the bath chatting and grinning away.
I was invited to help with bed time and spent the entire time wondering how on earth I produced such an astounding woman as my daughter, who not only read this tiny little person a bedtime story (The Gruffalo, she did the voices and everything - I enjoyed it hugely) but then proceeded to sing him to sleep. I didn't know that my Beautiful Daughter could sing or that there were so many verses to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
I went to bed that night feeling very, very happy and possibly a touch sentimental. Christ, it must be my age or hormonal. Whatever it was, it was nice and yet slightly unsettling as I felt my hard exterior melt. Don’t tell anyone I’m going soft.
The following morning we were up early, and decided to set off on our planned walk straight away as it was well on its way to being a scorching day, very welcome after the thunderstorms that have ruined Dude's and my happiness for what feels like weeks at home.
We had an 8 mile walk planned through some beautiful countryside, Giant Husband had laughed loudly the previous night when we discussed the route over dinner!
As we walked down the first bit of the hill, there were poppy fields - every colour imaginable utterly amazing, all I needed was a crap water colour painting, and soppy flowy dress and a chocolate bar and I would have been in that 1970's Flake ad.
We passed a river that has otters living in it, a hare (they are huge by the way) lolloped up the road towards us, whilst IG was having a snack, one, it turned out, of several that he required in order to ensure he maintained a happy view of the world.
We encountered a large group of ginger and very nosy cows, with a massive and somewhat exhausted seeming bull in tow. His entire being was exuding 'ladies please slow down!' as he lumbered around after them. Bulls aren't known for being nimble.
And we talked and talked.
After a couple of hours, I started whining slightly..
'Are we nearly there yet' I moan.
'About half way Mam' says BD patiently.
‘Fuck!’ I think to myself.
Cue BD enquiring in concerned tones if I'm ok? Do I need a rest? etc....feeling slightly decrepit I insist that I'm fine and we continue.
Now Giant Husband‘S farm is on top of a bloody great hill, which understandably was easy peasy on the way down. Our quandry was the last third of the walk was going to be uphill. We could do a shortened route but that would mean pushing the buggy up a mile long 1 in 3 hill, so we opted for the longer but more gradual route (thank fuck that hill would have finished me I think).
As is de rigeur on these outings I had an open air wee, during the course of which I got stung on the arse by a nettle - slightly uncomfortable, however I decided that I wouldn't moan (or even mention it,) for fear of a full on piss take from Giant Husband whose sense of humour is dry and involves laughing at me a lot.
After some prolonged discussion about whether to phone GH to come and collect us we manage to stagger back into the house with feet throbbing a mere 4 hours after we started.
IG is by this time snoring peacfully, and wakes up only to share his requirement for more sustenance. We spend a lovely afternoon watching Disney films (Moana. It’s a doozy!) and playing with IG.
GH meanwhile has shot off down to the farm to see to the cow that's calving, whilst he is out I decide to open my bottle of wine only to discover to my despair that they do not own a corkscrew.
Really reader? I know what they are getting for Christmas!
Being a Pip of epic problem solving ability, I set to with a screwdriver and rolling pin, having carefully placed the wine bottle in the sink (very lovely new kitchen) as I tap the screwdriver/cork for the final time - the cork ricochets into the bottle causing the wine to squirt out around the sides covering me, the newly painted walls, window, sides and everything everywhere.
'UM' I say very quietly hoping that nobody will come and see what’s wrong, no such luck
BD arrives with IG on her hip.
'Bloody Hell Mother why is the kitchen covered in wine?'
'Um' I say hoping that will cover it, whilst dripping quietly.
5 minutes later BD is passing me the window cleaner and saying,
'You may as well clean the windows whilst you are up there then Mam' by this time she is laughing uncontrollably and taking photos, which are being forwarded to Special Precious Boy.
I think there may also be a video....
Understandably confused by these random photos he asks,
'Why is Mam dancing on the window sill?'
After his sister explains he responds with
'That makes perfect sense - it is Mother after all!'
We sensibly decide not to mention it to GH.....
The Incredible Dancing Grandma!