My lovely sister and her husband are having "his and hers" spa treatments in some remote spot in the country, leaving both of their au pairs to mind the fort. Bea rang on Monday to confess she'd bought some "naughty lingerie" for their night in five star luxury sans children. "It's red and black and there are.....well....frills!" she giggled.
Matt turned up yesterday afternoon, a look of panic on his face, demanding to know what he should get for "a slightly mental woman". I suggested a gigantic bouquet of flowers, a box of expensive chocolates and a nice gooey card - but not too gooey. Lydia is still at that stage where she cries at the drop of a hat. "She's not right you know" he added, tapping the side of his head, as he left the house.
Charlie rang this morning to ask me which of the five cards she received were from me "or any one else who should know better". When I told her that nobody had sent her any cards this year - as a direct result of her stroppiness last year when the padded card she had hoped was from Sexy Surgeon was in fact from Saskia as a joke - she went all girly and said she had to go off and do some handwriting analysis.
Jack Next Door headed off to Sevenoaks and Amelia this morning (with strict instructions from me not to bring her back) with a box of Milk Tray and a bunch of roses. Jane Opposite, now fully recovered from her lipsuction, planned to dazzle "my Bill" when he gets back from Parkhurst. At this, my eyebrows shot up my face and into my hairline "Oh God no, he's only there visiting!" she hooted as we watched Jack's ancient car limp out of The Avenue. "Nah, his old boss is in there, shame really, lovely man. He kept Koi carp."
Janey - due to give birth any day now - received a card from Darren (To My Wife) which he had signed with a big question mark. "Is he trying to be funny?" she demanded not ten minutes ago when she rang to give me her daily update. At least she's not here, as she was before she had Scarlett. She also got the oh-so romantic present of a hot water bottle because the small of her back "gets really cold". I asked what she'd bought Darren and she gave an unladylike snort "I am the size of a f***ing horse and can't even get into my downstairs toilet without a struggle - I'm unlikely to be skipping around Clinton's am I?"
As for me, I've been a lucky girl this year. Breakfast in bed, a lovely card, beautiful flowers and "a little something for later". My present of a lovely warm red jumper looks paltry in comparison but he's wearing it whilst watching the rugby AND he's promised to make some tea in a minute while I just sit down and read my book......bliss!