17 – 19th November 2012
Several months ago, Mia and Millie’s parents asked us if we could have them for a long weekend. The lady of the house and I thought long and hard for all of half a second before agreeing. Nothing beats a weekend with our ‘girls’. Seems like the loving parents were off on a Newberry Tours trip to see The Northern Lights in Iceland. At first the dear lady who shares my life was a bit put out that she hadn’t been invited on the trip but when came to the crunch, it was a choice between The Northern Lights or sharing a weekend with the two precious little ones that are the Light of our Lives…it was a no contest. We looked forward to it enormously!
Turns out that the weekend was the same weekend as Mia and Millie’s great grandmother reached the ripe old age of ninety and a little coffee morning/tea party had been arranged. The dear lady of mine had been in her element for weeks organising the wonderful day for the special lady that was her mum…
We had been into the Cath Kidston shop earlier in the week and bought a whole load of stuff to give away as presents to all those who came. It was such a lovely idea and on the day all the ladies and gents who turned up went home with a little goody bag from the grand old lady herself. Everyone was thrilled!
The whole event was a fitting tribute to a unique and wonderful person. I came across a poem some years back, which I once sent to the lady of the house; the sentiments still ring true with my dear lady and her mum…
The Time is Now
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow.
Love me now
While I am living,
Do not wait until I’m gone
And then have it chiseled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now.
That little party was our way of not just telling a dear, sweet, old lady, but showing her too that she is loved. We will have no regrets when she leaves us. We told her then, as we tell her every time we see her….that she is loved. Surely there is no greater feeling in the world than to know you are loved!
The party had many benefits and some things we will treasure forever, the look of sheer joy on Beat’s face when she realised her sister Grace was with her, the meeting of the generations of the Bateman/Musgrove families…. from Millie all through to the great lady herself and people seeing each other after years of being out of touch. It was a good day… a very good day.
After the party had finished and the parents shipped off to Iceland we settled down to enjoy a great weekend together. We had a chilling session on Saturday evening and just enjoyed each other’s company, watching my new favourite film ‘Up’. Mia decided that she wanted to sleep with her Nan so I was promptly dispatched to the nursery to sleep in the princess bed to ‘watch’ over Millie while the girls climbed the wooden hill to the land of Nod. Sadly, Millie slept perfectly all night and there were no little midnight cuddles on offer. But the next morning she was raring to go. Seeing that beautiful little face and those blue eyes smiling at me was just the best way to start the day. Millie has the ability to smile, not only with her face but also with her eyes. She is such a treasure.
We had breakfast together and I was due to address a church in Newport, so we decided to do something special in the afternoon.
It was a glorious day!
So a trip to Barry Island it was at lunchtime, to take Yappie and Scrappie the two little pests the lady of the house calls her ‘girls’ for a long overdue walk. Most people would describe these tiny living creatures as dogs but not my dear one… they are only ever ‘girls’…and yes for those who were thinking…they DO have a Cath Kidston dog bed…nothing but the best….
Mia loved holding the lead despite us getting tangled up quite often. We had the obligatory photo shoot outside Marcos Coffee shop, and the guy I asked to do the shooting offered to take us on the whole Gavin and Stacey tour…but we declined. As we walked around we had trouble keeping Mia out of Nessa’s Slots, an amusement arcade, whose bright flashing lights invited all passers by to come in and waste their money!
We walked round and had a delightful time, Millie was watching the world go by from the security of the Barbie puschair still warm from Friday’s Adventures with Alfie and it so much more suited the little darling that was Millie.
Mia walked with us chatting away and enjoying our company.
We walked along the promenade and passed hundreds of dogs. From September to March dogs are allowed to run free on the beach and many people take advantage of it. We passed one mean looking Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was eyeing up Yappie and Scrappie as I would eye up a large fresh cream doughnut. I was very tempted at first, but looked across at the love of my life and thought better of it and gently pulled them away from the Staff’s salivating jaws. I did mention to the Staff’s owner that her dog looked like it was expecting a snack and she just smiled. Did you know that Yorkie’s are the only dog that can kill a Staffordshire Bull Terrier…apparently they get stuck in their throat!
As we walked back passed the decaying fun fare we though it would be nice to have a treat and have lunch in Barry. Good move! We passed a few Burger Bars and fish and chip shops and also had a little look in Big Dave’s, but the sight of Forte’s further down the road made up our minds. When the good lady and I were first married Forte’s was the place to go. They served frothy coffee before the world had heard of cappuccino, latte and Americano. Forte’s was up and running when Starbucks and Costa Coffee were just a mere twinkle in some entrepreneur’s eyes. We made our way in and found ourselves in a fifties time warp. The place looked like the inside of a set from Happy Days… without the lights. We settled in and ordered tea, which came in Pyrex, cups with odd saucers. The good lady ordered a Clarks Pie and chips. I looked at her adoringly and was so glad I had married such a fine person…Clarks Pie and chips, obviously a lady of good breeding! I went for Cod and Chips and Mia ordered Egg and Chips. Life was good. A Calor gas fire burned happily in the corner near our table. Then came the bad news – we were told they had run out of Clark’s pies. Oh dear. Did you know that a stare from my good lady can turn a waitress to stone? The one in Fortes in Barry does!
While our food was being lovingly prepared I went across the road to draw out some cash. You could tell it was a Barry cashpoint as the machine was issuing fivers. When I got back the food was waiting…on Pyrex plates. We smiled… the food was good, Millie had already eaten her lamb dinner and fruit pot and Mia enjoyed her egg and chips and we soon found ourselves walking out. As we did so I gazed up at the sign I felt sure when Forte’s left they forgot to take their sign. I later checked on Trip Advisor and it has two positive comments… it was very dated but we loved it!
On the way back to the car we gave the girlies a go on Thomas the Tank engine… it was fun!
While we had been eating Yappie and Scrappie had been locked away in the boot of our car and I suddenly wondered if when we got back to the vehicle, the boys in blue would be surrounding the car with some RSPCA officers; but they had been quiet and not ripped each other to shreds.
We drove home tired but happy the girls fast asleep in the back. They missed church but woke up in time to visit Uncle Gareth and Aunty Mercedes in Millbrook Heights. The lady of the house had arranged a visit to talk through her mum’s party and give Millie and Mia a chance to get to know their relatives a bit better. We all had a lovely time. Mia and Millie played happily with Uncle Gareth who is brilliant with little ones and an expert toy builder with a first class honours degree in Lego. Mercedes looked after us really well and we even watched the video of Beat’s Best Bits of her ninety years on the planet. We had a beautiful time. It had been such a great day.
Things returned to normal at home and my dearest one slept in the nursery watching over Millie and Mia slept with Aunt Bes. I was upstairs snoring only to myself!
Monday was the day we had to pass on the care of these two precious bundles of fun to Nanny and Bampa, but on the way we called into Alfie’s for a play and some quality time together. It was such a great time, our three precious little ones having fun together. We watched them with great pride and gratitude.
It was a good way to end our weekend and we are saving up now to send Mia’s and Millie’s parents off somewhere else… so we can enjoy them again.
Thanks girls…you are both so special.