The family flew up to Paradise for a few days before Christmas, to be there to celebrate my big Six O and to see my Dad, who is S's Grandpa and C and W's Great Grandpa !
I picked them up at Inverness airport and after a swift lunch we all went to see L in the Panto. It was my second time, so I much enjoyed slyly watching the children react with saucer wide eyes, loud screams and faces of happy immersion in pantoland ! They all loved it, and W, for whom it was a first ever true British panto, was beside himself with glee and utter joy. Even C, who can be shy and self conscious shouted 'look behind you' and 'Oh no he didn't ' with decibels I was proud of! They were then totally astonished when Jill came out from backstage and proceeded to have dinner with us in the restaurant, still resplendent in makeup and ringlets, yet talking to them as if she were a 'normal' person!
They talked about it, going over the funny moments, and their favourite bits for the whole time they were here, suddenly remembering a scene that had been lost in the memory, and relishing it again. I definitely believe that W thought it was all real. He is a very sensitive little soul who knows good from evil, and hates unkindness. Some of the basic elements of the traditional panto/fairy stories based of good triumphing over evil made the deepest impression on him, and he reiterated a number of times how glad he was that the family loved each other ! Dear little boy !
Not that I am biased of course.
For my birthday, we were joined by R and her family C and M and their two tinies, and our family for a quiet lunch at the B Hotel in the village. It was just perfect. No fuss, no surprises and my 90 year old father could hear us all, and enjoy the day as much as everyone else. He even had a little play at the pool table after dessert, and I have photos to prove it!
I sadly returned the family to Inverness airport on the 23rd as the children were with their father for Christmas this year, and after a small shop in Mr T I drove home, already aware that I had caught C's cold and could feel the early eruption of baby cold sores. When I sang for a living, I always broke out is said cold sores 24 hours before performing. Nerves inevitably manifested themselves with a crop of these painful and ugly sores, at the very moment I needed to be at my most attractive (?) and photogenic. As I grew older and became less raw in my stress they did slow down, and as an homage to Paradise, I rarely get them these days!
So there you have it, slow life down, move to the most beautiful part of the world, become older and wiser and let go of some stress and you too can get rid of cold sores ! If I could bottle it I would be a millionaire.
Happy days. To be filed in the memory.