It’s 11pm on Easter Sunday. The boys are watching the Manchester United v QPR game, Caitlin has gone to bed in disgust at the soccer once again being on the tv, my stomach hurts from eating too much today, I have a headache simply from the day, and a mouse just ran into the vent at the bottom of our fireplace.

We went to my mum’s for Easter lunch. It was just one of those days really. My mum had asked me to pick up my grandfather (gramps) and bring him up with us. He’s 85, and perfectly capable of driving himself up to mum and dad’s, who live an hour away from us. But anyway, he only lives around the corner from us and we turned up at around 11ish to pick him up and take him up for lunch. We rang the doorbell but there was no response. After about 5 minutes, I decided to call my mum and see if the plans had changed and maybe he had driven himself up there, or maybe my sister had picked him up instead. At Mum and Dad’s, the phone rang out. I hung up just as my son Ryan spotted Gramps over the back fence. He came out to say he’d follow us up there, because his youngest son, my uncle, was doing some work on the gate and would be back soon with the parts, and as soon as they were finished he’d come over to my house. There was obviously some confusion here… I reminded him that we were going to Mum’s for lunch today and NEXT week we were all having dinner at my house. He was clearly confused. And decided I should just bring him some food back as he wasn’t sure how long he would be working on the gates. So I call my dad’s phone, because I know he will pick that up. The first thing he says is ‘Did you just call? I had my hand on the phone when you hung up…’ anyway, I tell him the situation, and ask him to tell Mum and say we’re just leaving. Ok. So we’re leaving my grandad behind and heading up, late (we thought) for lunch. Then my uncle turns up and tells him he’ll finish the gate tomorrow and he should go to lunch with us. So Gramps says okay, and heads inside to change his ‘pullover’ and put some shoes on instead of the slippers he was wearing. I call Dad back, tell him the updated info and say ‘we’ll see you in about an hour.’ Okay he says. And off we go, up through the ranges, watching the temperature drop as we get closer, because it’s cold up their way.

We drive nice and slowly. It’s Easter, the roads are always, notoriously, dangerous over the Easter long weekend and Gramps is old. So we chat about the phone call from his brother who still lives in the UK, my grandmother, who’s recently gone into a home with dementia, and my 85 year old grandfather’s newest wish, to get a laptop and get Skype so he can talk face to face with those back home in the motherland.

We get up to Mum and Dad’s around 12.30pm. The dogs, Martha and Molly, are barking their little brains out as we arrive. We can hear them the second we open the car doors. Mum and Dad have a block just over 3 acres in size, and the dogs were in the house, yet we can still hear them yapping to announce our arrival. No sign of my sister’s or brother’s cars. We get in the house, wish Mum a happy easter, and try to get the dogs to shut up. After the Easter greetings Mum says to us ‘Did you realise your father’s not here?’ hmmm… interesting. Turns out, he went to work today. My Dad is a train driver, so he often, in fact usually, works weekends and holidays. We had assumed, because we had all been invited up to an Easter lunch, that he would be there, and see as how we see little of him, we usually look forward to actually seeing him at lunch or whatever the occasion might be. So he’s been on the phone to me less than an hour earlier, and didn’t let me know he wouldn’t be here by the time we got here. So then I ask Mum what time my brother and his new wife will be getting there only to be told that they also were not coming. So I’ve driven all the way up there, after the stuff around with my Grandad, to have lunch with my mum and my sister, who are the two people that I see every week anyway.  So my sister, her (also new) husband and the four kids EVENTUALLY turn up, setting off the crazy dogs again. When everything calms down, and my sister gets over her indignation that our Dad is not there, we give the kids their Easter eggs, and then my sister and my son decide it’s cold and they need to light the fire in the living room. It’s a small house, the wood stove and big oven are both throwing out plenty of heat in the kitchen/dining room, which is right next to the living room. But they light the fire anyway, and suddenly the little house, with 12 people in it, is crowded and hot. So I decided it was time to take my trusty Canon outside and take some photos of the garden in all it’s Autumn splendour. Well… I say splendour, but it just looks better than mine does in Autumn…  Thank goodness I had taken my camera… it was the sanest part of the day!

I also took plenty of photos of all the chocolate and other sugary sweets just sitting and waiting to be devoured.


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