Weekend with Faaaamily

This weekend we’ve been away seeing Faaaamily. Actually this is the less Eastenders side of the family, my mum’s side. The last time I saw the Eastenders lot was at the funeral of my ex-step-dad (my brother and sisters dad – keeping up? We’ve only just started!) which was full of toothless gangster types declaring the deceased as a ‘diamond in the rough’ and “‘ee ‘ad an ‘eart of gold” and other inane clich├ęs you use on someone who didn’t quite fit with society’s norms when they’ve met their maker, that great Chelsea manager in the sky. And my mum having had a couple of glasses of wine on only a cocktail sausage and some cheese on a stick, playing the Merry Widow, while aforementioned toothless gangsters stowed away their sawn-offs and paid homage to her, as the wife who he hadn’t been married to for 20 years, or spoken to for about half that time!

Anyway, from death to birth, circle of life an all that. My second nephew was born on Friday, after a long labour, which started out at home and was intended to remain there till the electricity went so my brother and his girlfriend had to high tail it to the hospital where it all slowed down a bit and we all sat on tenterhooks waiting on the end of the phone, except for my mother who insisted on being at the hospital in case she was needed, after all, what do those doctors and midwives know that she doesn’t? She’s had three children, you know, and spent more time in casualty with them than a first year resident. (I’m not sure a first year resident is actually a thing? My medical knowledge is gleaned mainly from Scrubs and ER!). Finally, at 8.30 Max was born, or “8lb of pure Maxness” as the proud father said to me. “You sound tired” I said. “I am” he replied “Fiona’s tired too, though she got more sleep than I did”…

So, birth, death, and then marriage. My dad got married on Thursday. It’s the third marriage on both sides, and they decided to go and do it in Mauritius. Buggers didn’t invite us, but we do get to haul the children hundreds of miles up north to celebrate and see the pictures of their two weeks in paradise . I wish them both well, and look forward to teasing my new wicked step-mother who, child free herself, has suddenly acquired 3 children and 2 grandchildren!

Birth, death, marriage, and yes, there was very nearly divorce too. The source? DH’s sat nav app, which may actually be a plant from a foreign intelligence agency, designed to spread discord in marriages across the country and bugger up David Cameron’s plan for us all to be married with 2.4 children and a trust fund. It took us from the West to Cambridge through, well, not even the scenic route, the route through the most dire towns in mid-England, which can only be described as On The Way To Somewhere Else.

We spent hours and hours on the road to Hell, DH and I barely speaking, except terse instructions to “go straight over at the roundabout” from him, and mutterings about “the bloody sat nav” from me. Betty threw up and Iris cried. Our pledge not to each other as we inevitably do whenever we go away, earlier in the day lasted as far as the first roundabout.

In the end though it was a lovely weekend. All the faaaamily got together on Saturday. There were aunties and uncles, first cousins, second cousins, cousins once removed, twice removed (what does that even mean), and someone known to us as Cousin Catherine, but who bizarrely isn’t the cousin of anyone of us. I think she may be the cousin of my long deceased grandma actually. And one of five ‘Catherines’ at the gathering, hence the need for a moniker.

We had a little detour to the beach before the party started. Betty was so excited in the car on the way (vomiting aside). And we arrived to find the tide in and about 10 square foot of sand. Aunty Jane maintained that the tide was going out, and that the waves splashing against the beach wall were just “rogue waves, that’s what happens when the tide goes out”… Poor Betty, all she wanted to do was make sandcastles and find shells and fossils’. She was compensated with presents from grandma and various great aunts though, as well as being slipped chocolate and biscuits at every opportunity. Iris was pretty grumpy and refused to be held by all the doting aunts meeting her for the first time. She especially refused to go to poor grandma, who had been at hospital all Friday evening awaiting the arrival of baby Max, and then spent all Saturday morning in casualty having tripped up a pavement and broken a finger, but still made the 2 hour journey to the delightful Frinton, desperate to see her other 3 grandchildren. “I’m too old for all of this” she often says. She’s 51. It’s going to be a long 50 more years.

An eventful weekend, lovely but exhausting, full of lovely people who genuinely do have hearts of gold, mixed in with the crazy. I could go on for pages with tales of the family craziness, but a) I’d bore the pants off you and b) a couple of my rellies now want to see my blog, which will probably double my readership, but means I’ll have to watch what I say!

Not a lot of crafting gone on this weekend I’m afraid. I did complete a very quick project on Thursday which just needs a little finessing before I show it off.