Yesterday, the husband and I schlepped down to Portsmouth, home of the mother, Mrs Jangles, Nanny Joyce, and all those who came before them. We had decided that a trip down Memory Lane was in order for the mother and Mrs Jangles, so roping in Miss R, Susie B and Messrs OH and G, we all convened in the pub which used to be run by my Granddad's parents. The husband and I were given the room my great grandmother used to sleep in - looking at the bed, I doubt much has changed since then.
The weather was beautiful, so a day on the beach was decided on. I say 'beach', but it looked more like my drive with its silly stones. We had realised fairly early on in the drive to the beach that we would need to buy chairs, as Southsea doesn't have some bloke walking up and down the prom selling you the use of a deckchair for two hours for £40. There was just one shop at Southsea, and close investigation revealed a beautiful striped folding chair on one of its shelves. 'Can we have four of those, please', asked Miss R.
Unfortunately, it was the last one in the shop - Miss R came up with the bright idea of buying two large rubber rings for the two of us to sit in. I was slightly concerned that I wouldn't have enough puff to blow mine up, but the very nice shop man offered to do that for us, reappearing from the back of the shop with two beautifully inflated rubber rings. Mine had Star Wars on it...this has no bearing on the day whatsoever, other than I was frightened the husband might get on to the issue of 4,5 and 6 coming before 1,2 and 3. I've been here before you see.
We had a great afternoon, with the braver ones heading out to sea on a speedboat for ten minutes. At a pound a minute, they all thought this was money well spent. Sadly, the afternoon ended in the way it always does when we all get together...
The mother - completely trolleyed, and blathering on about castles, clutching a Guide Book
Mrs Jangles - completely trolleyed, and drying out from her attempt to swim to the Isle of Wight
Miss R - completely trolleyed, and mourning her dead phone
Susie B - slightly trolleyed (she has stamina) and moaning about how pasta tastes like slugs
Messr OH - slightly trolleyed (ex-army so can pace himself), and desperate to go on the Big Dipper
Messr G - slightly trolleyed, and hacked off that his cap blew out to sea on the speed boat ride
The Husband - hungover, having drunk himself silly, then fallen asleep on the beach propped up on two rubber rings and shrouded in towels.
And as for me? Well I was sober. I had the dubious responsibility of carry home two punctured rubber rings (bloody stone beach) which made their way into the first bin I came to. Up to that point, I could easily have passed myself off as a bagpipe player - the noises coming out of the puncture wounds every time I squeezed them beggared belief. I got quite a few dirty looks from passers by. They obviously didn't appreciate that I am a lady...
So we talked about Nanny a lot yesterday - so many memories and tales, most of which involved alcohol I am ashamed to say, but when you see the family which followed on from her, it sort of all makes sense.
That apple never falls far from that particular tree...