Family gatherings are fabulous arent they. They are stress free, uncomplicated and easy going - maybe in a fantasy world but certainly not in mine. The very idea of seeing my family fills me with apprehension. Who is going to tell me how fat I am? Why am I always at these things alone, no partner for support - and to agree how loony my whole family are? Who is going to fall out with whom?
This year actually wasnt so bad. My Grandad picked me up from Chesterfield Station with my little brother and sister and they sang me a hilarious new version of 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' as reconstructed by my step-dad. Hoorah, I thought, good start. It carried on pretty well... I saw Alice after over a year and her rock of an engagement ring, saw Patrick, and Gran was in a resonably chipper mood. My Gran is wonderful but please understand that she has some... erm... issues shall we say? Basically my uncle and her havent spoken in years in a replica of her mothers relationships with her children, climaxing in the sad event of her attempting suicide and blaming us all (mainly Matt and Bong - my Grandad) even though its blatantly something psychological, or whatever the right term is, from her childhood! So this day was to be the day they saw each other for the first time in well over a year! Would there be fireworks?
Only a slight one, a Catherine Wheel, my Aunty Catherine, who rightly got very upset when Gran acted completely normally with Beth and Emma and ignored Matt and Cath all night! My step-dad Tim then did a brilliant drunken set of home truths with her... arebnt families incredible? Caroline was as usual the hostess with the mostess and made some frankly amazing curry. I got pissed on Champers and walked the mile home with my little brother and sister at about midnight! SUPERB.
I then left as early as could the next day... well come on as if family harmony could last any longer?
Must remember (for Mim Book) ;
St Giles Church (and the cobbled street)
The way Riber Castle looks on the skyline
The Dent Holiday Lodge - or whatever it was called!