I’m confused. It’s not difficult I know but even so. The purpose of my weekend away with my lovely husband is as part of my birthday treat so I’ve packed accordingly. Comfy shoes for sightseeing and shopping, a good book, comfy jim-jams, a collection of lotions and potions for the luxury bathroom (as if the freebies won’t be enough) and casual clothes.
Bea is scandalised at this flagrant lack of class. “Darling, you should be packing for champagne at the American Bar, for dinner a deux, for exiting limos elegantly, for sheer glamour. You never know who you might bump into in the lift!”
Janey, currently undergoing a renaissance in her marriage – “I’ve got Darren to admit that he quite likes my stretch marks” – instructed me to pack for my inner sex kitten. I grumpily pointed out that I’d have to find her first. “Body chocolate and silk scarves are the way to go” she added.
Marjorie was shocked when I told her that we hadn’t planned anything special. “What? No role playing?” she screeched at me over the garden wall as she repotted her petunias. “Imagine it, you could pretend you don’t know each other and “meet” in the bar and let nature take its course” she said dreamily, tipping the best that John Innes had to offer all over her flagstones. “I remember our last hotel stay – Frank picked me up in the sauna, it was the best sex we’d ever had.”
Lydia, arriving at ten past eleven to receive the list of instructions for their dog sitting weekend, suggested that I just be myself and re-connect with David. She’s going all Earth Mother having signed up for Birth Classes at the Institute. “Just BE, the two of you as one.” She said as she read the five page document I’d prepared for her.
Mac is remarkably cool about the fact that he won’t see mummy or daddy until Sunday evening – he went off to nursery this morning with a spring in his step. I told his teacher that he will be collected this afternoon by Remarkably Skinny Now Au Pair. “You can’t miss her” I said “she’ll be drenched in perfume and fake tan”.
Remarkably Skinny Now Au Pair was equally flippant when I dropped off Mac’s bag. “She out” she said when she saw me on the marble doorstep, no doubt thinking I was here to see my sister. Once I’d reminded her (twice) that she was responsible for picking up my pride and joy from nursery at 3pm she smiled engagingly and invited me in for “some ‘erbal tea no?”. Bea has observed that it’s like having a completely new au pair: “She doesn’t eat to excess and I no longer have to step over empty KFC boxes in the utility room”
David is on the phone to Matt warning him against any “buggering about” and “if Granny arrives on a whim tomorrow, don’t you dare tell her where we are”. He’s packed – his one bag dwarfed by my two – and has booked the cab for 12noon. Lydia is bonding with Junior Dog who is looking worriedly in my direction as if he knows he’s going to be abandoned for the weekend. It seems my hounds are going to be more concerned about my lack of presence than my son.
Still, David has got a familiar gleam in his eye and I’m getting quite excited about room service…