Saturday 13 May 2023
After last weekend’s flit to Edinburgh, I was holding out for my first Saturday lie-in in May. It turns out not to be the case…
There are a number of reasons for the early start, and I can’t blame the offspring for any of them! The most significant is that I have to see a man about … an oboe. Yes, my beloved instrument, rather like its owner, is showing the ravages of time and has been booked in for a pretty pricey overhaul.
I only trust one man with such a job, for my favourite possession, and the only way for him to collect the poor old thing, this side of Summer, is for me to meet him at his gig in the Buxton Opera House. At the same time, due to train strikes, my lovely mum is struggling to visit her sister, who is based by chance in a nearby Derbyshire village and so we hatch the plot to head for the High Peak together. Let’s call it a mini mother-daughter road trip.
The third addendum to the weekend frolics is that my washing machine packs in. Yup, you load it up, press start, it grunts, groans, soaks your clothes and then grinds to a stuttering halt. So, with weary resignation, I push the alarm back a further thirty minutes, allowing time to weigh down the car with two loads of soiled, sodden laundry that can be chucked into mum’s Zanussi and pegged on the line before we hit the M60!
To be fair, it all runs like clockwork. Mum and I are both appalling navigators so place our trust in the satnav and enjoy the country roads it takes us to. Whilst Mum laughs that it is the only time, on many trips to this part of the world, that she has ever driven through the hamlet of ‘Sparrowpit‘ , by eleven we are in my Aunt’s flat enjoying well earned cuppa, safe in the knowledge that, as we chat, the warm spring sunshine will be drying my week’s worth of washing. The three of us have a fantastic catch-up, share many jokes (there is even singing) and all relish a fish and chip lunch.
By late-afternoon, we are in Buxton and treating ourselves to cold drinks (and donuts) in an elegant park, basking, for once, in some glorious weather. The rendez-vous with my oboe repairer goes smoothly. He is really nice and even offers me comps for the evening’s opera. But after a very early start, a 10:30pm finish doesn’t sound great,(plus I know that Small boy is counting on a lift to a party at 7pm) so we politely decline.
Instead, after a jolly drive home and a successful dispatch of my socialite son, it is a night of wine and Eurovision for me – ‘Cha cha cha … !’
As for the washing machine… well an even nicer man sorts me out a terrific deal on a whizzy new washer. So life is looking up and who knows, next weekend, I might even get a lie-in…