..to my Mum and Dad, who have been married 40 years today.
To celebrate this momentous event the Bexley Carters decamped en masse to Swindon for a little extended family celebration courtesy of my cousin, Claire, and her fiance, Ian, who generously opened up their home to a gathering of the Carter clan.
And it was a really really nice evening. With Trev’s death still so fresh it was good to see everyone, and relax, eat and laugh. I’ve commented on here before (somewhere, I forget exactly where…) that the Carter clan seem to be surprisingly close and get on unusually well compared to many other families – a situation that, so far as I can tell, has only benefits for everyone.
We had to get to Swindon first, however, and Saturday morning we had a dentist’s appointment at 11. That was done and dusted within about 15 minutes – well done for being so good, Millie & Amber! – and we were at Paddington station remarkably soon after midday. Leaving us two hours to wait for our train!
Still, the girls were in good spirits and we spent the time exploring the station, going up and down in the great glass elevator and chasing pigeons whilst screaming “Pigeon!” so the two hours quickly came and went.
Once in Swindon we had to catch a bus to my parents’ house, which was a novelty, not least because my knowledge of Swindon public transport is 20 years out of date.
It being Saturday my parents were out at football and netball, as they have been since time immemorial. Trev and I spent used to spend many happy Saturday afternoons exploring various sports centres, playing fields and schools while our parents chased, kicked and threw balls about. No, really, we did! 🙂
Speaking of Trev, the Lovely Melanie and I went to see to his grave for the first time since the funeral. That was harder than I’d anticipated. And I still find writing, saying or even just thinking things like “Trev’s grave” or “since Trev died” difficult; like trying to push two magnets of the same polarity together, in my head those words don’t want to to join up.
Sunday, and everyone was a bit tired today as the anniversary party went on until gone 11 last night. Amber collapsed at about 9.30, but Millie was going strong until the car journey home! She was in her element, bossing adults about and making them play a bizarre colour matching game using Claire and Ian’s pool table.
While she was doing that the rest of us ate a ton of delicious home-cooked food and just chatted, reminisced and laughed for hours. So thank you to my family for that – for making us laugh and making us happy and…I don’t know, making everyone feel wanted and included; that’s what families should do, and ours can do it very well.
I’m looking decidedly freckled tonight, thanks to an afternoon spent painting our new shed a glorious shade of orange – and the garden fence, because the newly orange shed was making everything else look a bit tatty. Now, of course, the whole bloody fence needs painting! About 20% of it was done today – 20% of the fence and 20% of my face – with the rest pencilled in to be completed…soon.