Leave away weekend kicked off with a big hug and a flit into Oxford to take back some of my more self indulgent purchases from earlier in the week. The florist gave me a strange look but I must have had my 'Don't eff with me Dude' face on and she just sighed when I said I'd changed my mind about them gave me a full refund. Then a dippy hippy lunch in a veggie shack and lots of laughter and then ages in the travel section of Blackwells. It seems I am not the only armchair traveller in the family and if he didn't have GCSE's around the corner and I was more organised, I think we'd both be stitching union flags onto Berghaus's right now.
The enormous pot holes in the road left over from last weeks snow made the trip home rather exciting. A-holes driving too fast to spot the hole before they were upon it, then not wishing to scuff their alloys or take out their exhaust systems, they swerved with near fatal effect. This happened three times but I was ready for them all. I'd taken the same route there as I did coming back and I knew where it was going to happen, because I'd done it on the outwards trip.
Night fell and we flopped down with a weepie and a glass of wine (me, not him). Kind Boy 15 (til tomorrow) provided the chick flicks. Another one of my guilty pleasures, a film to let me cry. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist pushed all my buttons and I was a snivelling wreck about 4 minutes into it. And then it was 1.30am and then the 'phone went and we had a Man Down. Girl 13 had opted to spend the first night of leave out in London with friends. I'd confirmed with the mother that she was expected and welcome but the call I took told another story. They'd been home alone paid a hobo to buy them a bottle of vodka. There was crying, talk of two hospital visits including a cat scan, police, everything. I couldn't get any sense out of her, so Boy 15 took over and calmed the whole thing down, sifted through the facts, established that they had found a responsible adult to rescue them, and most importantly shaken off the feds.
We took three more calls between then and 3am and then agreed that we were sure she was safe. She made it back on the 9.15 train and is a bit irritable but contrite. She wasn't the hospital victim either... so we can't blame her for the fact that this poor bankrupt country can't afford to fix its roads up. I wish I could honestly say, 'Well she'll never do that again' but experience tells me that this is unlikely.
I was fibbing about taking the flowers back. I just liked the idea of trying it.