Well, I, with singular aplomb, managed to miss the girls in all their key swimming races. I always get lost trying to get to the Leisure Centre in Macclesfield and yesterday was no exception. Got there 15 minutes after the start and the girls were in all the races in the first 15 minutes. Story of my life. To lie, or not to lie? Did I pretend to them that I had been there from the start and seen it all? My friend said yes, but I just couldn’t do it. Instead I got them to describe in minute detail how the races had gone (E would have won, apparently, had not biggest girl in her year lurched into her lane and spent the rest of the race kicking into her face!) and then talked enthusiastically about all the bits I DID see. Still, it was all a bit tricky trying to get to grips with what was going on as there were so many kids, some with swim hats coded to their House colours, but many without - so I spent half the gala thinking there was an unfair preponderance of Adlington House (= blue) children competing, before I realized that half of those kids were wearing the standard old school swim cap which always used to be blue, before they brought in the colour-coded ones (doh, I am a bear of little brain). It was also nigh on impossible to watch two of my own children and all of my friends’ children while also marvelling at the child pounding out front and feeling for the one flailing out back, whoever they were (impossible to tell in swim caps and from a distance). So, all in all, the gala was a mixed success from my point of view, though much more fun and exciting than I was anticipating (have horror of such things as used to dread them when I was a child – have always hated idea of such raw competition. Two of my daughters take after me, one doesn’t. She’s like her father).
From here I dropped children at Afterschool Club from whence a friend was collecting them and looking after them until N could get home, as I had another pressing appointment. One I had also, like the gala, been rather dreading. Yes folks, I was due to go and see Rod Stewart in concert at the MEN arena in Manchester. Ageing Rocker inevitably comes to mind. Well, he is, isn’t he? I worked out he must be 65. Friend with smart iphone checked, and 65 he is. Still, he didn’t do badly for an old bloke. In fact he doesn’t look much different to when he first came to my attention with Maggie May on Top of the Pops three decades ago. That is a great song. As a young teenager I really identified with it. Though, thinking about it, I’m not sure why! I’m female for a start and have never been into older men and was a model (well, -ish) student. Never a day’s truancy, me. So, yeah, not quite sure where I’ve got that idea from. Anyhow, he played it as his last song (before the encore at least), so he must think it’s rather a good one too.
My friend had bought the tickets for another friend’s birthday and it had seemed churlish of me not to accept, despite the fact it was the night before we were leaving on holiday and I am notoriously chaotic and stressed trying to get everything packed and ready and the house sorted for abandonment, cat in cattery, dishwasher done, bins emptied, plants watered, security lights set etc etc etc. It’s all a nightmare. So I needed Rod Stewart like a hole in the head. But you know what? As with all things you don’t look forward to much, I really enjoyed it. It was a great show by an old pro with some fab songs which have stood the test of time. He’s engaging, self-deprecating, this son of a plumber – now a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)for his contributions to music. The boy done good. He’s got wife No.3 who’s known to a friend of mine in the village from the days when they lived in Bermuda – she used to throw great parties apparently – and went back to England to marry their mate but somewhere along the line, before the big day, met Mr Stewart and the rest is history. Well done Penny Lancaster. I bet they have a right laugh together. I think it’s all rather lovely. And they have a young child who did a scribble which Rod put on a T-shirt and was selling for charity last night. Really, all seems well with his world. Oh, and he’s still got a good head of hair. So maybe being a pensioner’s not all bad, y’know.
Right, well I’d better get going. Am meant to be planting out some runner bean seedlings, finishing off the last bits of packing, watering the pots, closing up the house and getting on my way. We are off sailing – hopefully not Rod’s stormy waters as we’re going to Turkey and pottering around a few bays. Lovely. Did it last year. Everyone thought we’d hate it and/or drown. We did neither. In fact, we loved every minute. It was superb. Wall-to-wall sunshine and the most free-ing holiday I think I’ve ever had. Life on the ocean wave. Not bad. Not bad at all.
So, me hearties, I’ll see you all in a week or so. Tell you all about it when I get back. If we get back. Ashclouds, perfect storms etc permitting...
PS: I've been most industrious while I should have been packing and have also published a new post over at Fridge Food. Go take a look if you have a mo.