“I hope I’ve remembered my anorak,” said Trulove, as we turned out of our road. Seven years ago, when we were just getting together and were madly in love and leading madly glamorous young Londoners’ lives (well, not really but sort of) I think I would’ve topped myself if I’d known the word ‘anorak’ was going to feature in our future conversations. We may as well sit in a layby and eat bloater paste sandwiches with a flask of coffee as far as my 28 year old self was concerned.
But yes, there we were, in our family saloon, stuffed to the stick-on sunshades full of all the paraphernalia you need for two nights away with two tiny children, discussing anoraks and wondering if we should’ve made sandwiches for the journey rather than paying service station prices (answer: yes, most definitely).
I was already feeling like my parents circa 1983. So when Ziggler puked just before we got onto the M25, although it stank and she was upset and I only just remembered in time that a small child puking doesn’t count as an emergency and therefore doesn’t warrant a screeching to a halt on the hard shoulder, I felt a bit like I’d experienced a parental rite of passage as I stripped her sicky clothes off in the service station loos and dried the puked upon Hello Kitties under the hand dryer. Ziggler perked right up after that as well, partly because she was allowed to choose a magazine from the enormous shop as a consolation for being sick. I’m not sure why somebody who can’t read is so magazine-obsessed, but there you go. Most likely the stickers.
So, after our sojourn de vomit 10 miles into the journey, we did eventually make it to a lovely holiday cottage in the middle of nowhere in the Peak District. Unlike our house, it was clean, stairless, so Pickle could roam free, and there were enough bathrooms for everybody who knows how to use a toilet to have one each. Being mainly glass it had an amazing view of the wind blowing the rain horizontally across the moor opposite. With my Yorkshire upbringing this served to make me feel quite at home.
I had a nasty chest infection last week. What better way to convalesce than a drizzly trudge through the autumn countryside? Ziggler went on strike a mile in, but cheered up when we nearly got blown off the top of a viaduct, and being a city girl she is always surprised to see cows actually in fields, really mooing. We made it back alive. I’d had my doubts as the mist came down and we realised the walk was twice as long as we’d thought, but luckily we’d brought enough bread sticks and bananas to see us through and we’d set off early.
We fitted in a foggy cable car ride and a trip down a cave (and up the billion and a half steps out of the cave, of which Ziggler valiantly climbed about twelve and was carried the rest) before we came home. Interesting how ‘came home’ sounds nice and short, like we teleported, when in fact the journey took 6 hours including a traffic jam and a stop at a Little Chef.
I’m having to miss out loads of stuff, like me not knowing how to use petrol pumps outside London and the embarrassment of the cashier in the kiosk having to talk me through it OVER A LOUDSPEAKER in an extremely busy petrol station, and Ziggler falling out of her big girl’s bed and onto bare floorboards without waking up. It was a fun-packed, exhausting, incredibly stressful mini-break. Trulove and I are, there’s no question, turning into our respective parents. But we were together. The disasters were funny. And I was not lonely for a second.