Friday we went to Wales for the wedding of my old friend Dr Nick Perham and his lovely lady, Dr Helen Hodgetts. Nick and I first met at Wolverhampton University back in the early ’90s, and we’ve been good friends ever since, as have so many of the other people I met there. Nick looks a little bit intimidating when you first meet him, but is actually one of the loveliest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met, and it was a genuine pleasure to learn that he was getting married to the lovely Helen – I hope they’ll make each other very happy for a very long time. 🙂
So, Friday started, ahem, well when the car hire company rang up to tell us the company we’d actually hired our car from had gone bust a fortnight ago; fortunately, the people phoning us were the company who’d bought up all their business and were just checking we still wanted the car (we did).
They then rang back again two minutes later to check we knew the T&Cs for the hire of a car from them (we did) and to ask whether I wanted a lift to their car hire offices (I did). The latter was especially welcome as their offices were in Dartford, miles from anywhere!
Car acquired, we only had to wait for Grandma and Granddad to arrive (to look after the girls while we were away) and our friends Mike and Inge with whom we were were driving to Caerphilly. Amazingly, everyone arrived on time and we left for Wales at midday, reaching Caerphilly just after four o’clock.
The Travelodge in Caerphilly was a bit basic – on top of a hill amidst some building sites and wasteland with only a Lidl and a recycling depot for company – but it did the job, and since we were staying there with lots of other friends it was perfectly adequate. In the evening, after a lot of faffing about, we went into Cardiff for drinks with everyone. We played some pool, ate some crisps, drank some beer…
..and I sang Ace Of Spades at karaoke with Nick and another friend of his (I initially started doing it in a lounge style, but quickly gave that up and went for a more straightforward howling bellow, which worked pretty well).
The wedding was lovely, as weddings usually are, and it all took place in Caerphilly Castle, which is a very impressive venue to have a wedding at! There are lots of photos of it all on Flickr.
There was lots of dancing, too, all of which was considerably improved by lots of ’80s tunes and the improvising of some amazing air guitar solos by all and sundry. Well, we were a bit drunk…
Sunday, following a fried breakfast in Caerphilly, we headed for home – and what a welcome we got there! The Lovely Melanie rang the doorbell and we could straightaway hear a near-hysterical Millie rushing to answer it, so we got lots of cuddles and breathless explanations of her weekend from her. Slightly more surprising, but just as lovely, was Amber’s reaction when we came in. For a few seconds she only looked at us and seemed to be thinking, but then you could almost hear something go click in her head as she realised just who we were and scrambled to climb off the sofa and come to see us.
Now that absolutely made my day. I knew Millie would be as overjoyed to see us as we were to see her; but Amber…I thought she’d be a lot more blasé about our return. However she was obviously overjoyed to see us back, and spent the next hour or so climbing all over us, dribbling profusely and giving both the Lovely Melanie and I lots of sticky cuddles. 😀
She did unfortunately manage to poo all over our bed later, but we put that down to excitement – we’ve all done it, I’m sure: gotten so excited to see our loved ones back that we manage to shit in their bed. 😉
This morning I was stressed because the car needed to be returned to this place in Dartford that I’d only ever been once before in my whole life. Plus, the girls needed taking to nursery first. By the time I left nursery my blood pressure was pretty high, and it went even higher when I got lost around the A2…
Fortunately, I done my homework – printing out a map the evening before – and with the judicious application of luck, intelligence, and good old-fashioned swearing I found my way to the car hire place without having a complete nervousbreakdown.