Friday, April 9, 2010

One year on

I don't know what I expected to feel, sad, happy, guilty but I never thought I'd feel numb. Easter weekend last year was when I had the first sign that something was wrong with my temple like body.......well every temple needs an outhouse. So with a little trepidation in the back of my complicated mind we set off for wet welsh Wales.

It was a rubbish journey down, wet and loads of traffic but we had a stop at Brian and Eve's near Shrewsbury and a cup of tea and a catch up with old friends. It almost settled the journey down somehow, breaking a rhythm set by interesting driving and loads of spray on the roads.

It would be a busy and a little stressful weekend as Jason had been the chairman of the local Round Table for a year and so it was his chairman's ball. A celebration of his year and a thank you to those who've helped him. It was busy because there were so many little things to be sorted out, in Sheffield or any big city it would be easier but in rural Wales everything takes a little more time and a lot more travelling to sort out. It was stressful because everyone wanted it to be a memorable night, but memorable for all the right reasons. For this to happen everyone had to be in the right place at the right time, then Jacob (nephew 1) disappeared for a rugby game an hours drive away, Wend and Anita went for their hair and makeup doing and I took Ryan (nephew 2) to the hotel to wait for the girls.

Totally unaware of the confusion reigning round him

The Cliff hotel in Cardigan is a lovely example of a Victorian hotel which has sat on it's laurels too long. It has stunning views, it has a brilliantly quirky feel to it with staircases that Hogwarts would be proud of. But, and it's a big old but, it needs an injection of cash and life. They're doing lots of work to it and have made a lovely spa and the roof is now watertight and I wish them a load of luck but it does have a fawlty towers feel to it.

Now I love mobile phones and what they can do for you but I also enjoy being left alone, contrary little thing that I am. In Sheffield it's unusual to lose signal unless you're in Rawmarsh, in Pembrokeshire it's quite common. To be honest the first few times I went down there I wondered what on earth was happening, no phone signal, no indicators on cars, different calendars and a whole different time system. Now I enjoy it, I recalibrate myself so that every five minutes takes fifteen and when someone says I'll be there now it actually means they need to put their shoes on, feed the dog, find their keys and then they'll be there.

This relaxation of the laws of time and continuum came as a shock but it's just as normal to me as 24 hour shops and trams. The only time that it becomes a problem is when there is a specific function happening. So when Wend and Anita weren't at the hotel when they said they'd be there and they had Ryan's suit it started to be a little pressured. Well it was only pressured as Anita had asked me to go and look after Jason and stop people pouring Guinness down his neck before his speech. I finally found phone signal, why I don't know but by standing on one leg waggling the family jewels next to the gas tank at the hotel gave me 3 bars of reception. 2 bars without the waggling!

With reception and communication with the world outside restored calm soon returned. The girls wouldn't be long, Jacob had returned and would meet me and Ryan in Cardigan. It wasn't going to be the romantic afternoon in a hotel that Wend and I had envisaged, but it would all turn out alright in the end........fingers crossed.

I'm just darn lucky to be married to such a beautiful woman.

The nephews and their aunty. Yes she's the boss.

Jason, Anita, Jacob and Ryan, scrub up nice don't they.

I think some of the tension went when the soup came out, it was either leek and potato soup or liver pate for starters. Now I'm not the most well traveled person in the world but when the soup was bright red with croutons it kind of made me wonder. The waiting staff looked at me gone out when I mentioned it, perhaps Welsh leeks were red, it started to make me wonder. It turned out that a computer error was to blame, one menu had been saved under another menus title and vice versa. Like I say computer error......not the end of the world though, I had the pate anyway just be sure!

Formal functions can be somewhat stuffy and to start with the formalities of the Round Table speeches was, well, formal. Jason had to toast various people including someone from area 43 which our table decided must be similar to area 51 and were then looking for little green men.

It kind of set the scene for the rest of the speeches until Jason's, Jase isn't the sort of bloke to show his emotions readily, if ever. But it's been a hell of a year for him with people not paying, Ryan and Anita needing operations, breaking his wrist and his dad being diagnosed with cancer. To me it was an excellent speech, from the heart and honest. That for me is Jase, he's straightforward and honest and works damned hard and I for one was proud to raise a glass with him.

Speeches over it was time for dad dancing to kick in. The guy at the suit hire shop had guaranteed dad dancing was included with the suit but I found a couple of pints of the black stuff helped the moves go more smoothly, in my mind anyway!

The morning after.

Sometimes it's better not to remember a night, but this was a great night, in my opinion. I danced, I drank, I danced, I dragged Jase onto the dance floor, I dragged Jacob onto the dance floor (by his feet), I dragged new best friend forever (apparently) rugby playing bouncer onto the dance floor, I danced with a bloke in the bar (don't ask as I don't know!) and I danced til the last dance and then begged the dj for one more song.

I think I was surprised that I was alive in the morning let alone feeling reasonably human, as human as I get. So a light breakfast and then into the spa was an incredibly indulgent but civilised way to work off a hangover.

The rest of the weekend was a brilliant mixture of beaches and chilling out. A bit of rugby, more chilling and taking Stella for a walk. I don't know, as I say what I expected to feel this weekend but I expected more emotion than I had. I've been up and down like a yoyo since we've got back but then it's been busy, we're now dog owners. A bonkers little Border terrier called berty. He's good really it's just like having a toddler in the house with needles for teeth. Hard work but rewarding. Whether that's taking my mind off things or whether it's clouding it I don't know but I wish I was back on the beach! No I'm not fussy about the weather either.

One day it's stunning. Whitesands beach (clue in the name)

The next day it's stunningly windy. Newgale beach (clue in th, oh you get the idea)

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