So the kids all returned home yesterday. First to turn up was son number one. I wasn't at home when he arrived, but he sent a text asking me and the husband where the key was in the Key Safe. How I laughed. What's that saying about 'what goes around comes around'? I was heading home anyway after the usual family breakfast in Marlow, but the husband drove home and opened the house - for the second time this week poor chap.
Son number two was next, and here was the big surprise. No washing. He obviously still has clean clothes to wear, rather than having to gingerly pick up t-shirts off the floor and cautiously sniff them to see whether they'll do for another outing. He was also quite relieved to see the new socks I had bought him.
When I unpacked his clothes last week at the seaside hovel, he had only brought four and a half pairs of socks with him. With the best will in the world, that was never going to last a weekend, let alone a whole week. I would imagine that those nine socks have been everywhere, schlepping around the bright lights of Brighton, desperate for a trip to the washing machine. Just as well he's by the sea - the salty sea breeze might have done something to mask the aroma of his socks.
Third to appear was daughter number two. Still no washing (this was looking good for me) but many bags of stuff. Even when you allow for birthday presents for her brothers, she was still carrying many bags of stuff. Listening to the conversation between her and daughter number one, she had brought several outfits and pairs of shoes home, so that she had a choice for The Big Night Out.
And here was the problem. The four of them (plus ELL who was also visiting son number two) started to discuss where to go. The two boys, who have spent the last seven nights in Fresher mode, living on cheap booze, Pro-Plus and Berocca, fancied a good meal, a few drinks and an early night. The two girls on the other hand (both in gainful employment, which means that they tend to be in bed at a decent time during the week) wanted dancing, cocktails, a kebab and a hangover. ELL was also in this camp. That girl's got stamina, because she also has been in Fresher Hell, but she didn't let it stand in the way of a Big Night Out. It'll be interesting to see who gets up for breakfast (assuming they came home at all. It's eerily quiet this morning).
While they were bickering over this, I reminded the husband that we were going down to our good friends, Mr and Mrs H (she's Italian, so there is always plenty of good wine and food on offer).
'Will there be dancing?' he asked.
'Will there be cocktails?'
'Can I have a kebab afterwards?'
'No. Of course not'.
'Good'.....pause.....'Will I have a hangover?'
'More than likely'.
Oh dear indeed...