I had a sleepover on Tuesday night. I went up to visit daughter number two again in her flat in Milton Keynes, because she fancied a bit of company after a difficult day. I had planned to come straight from Pilates (that Alex is making it harder every week - don't think I'm not noticing...) so throwing a coat over my daft Pilates pants I began the hour and a half drive up there. You'll be pleased to hear that I've now got the PratNav sussed, and I managed to listen to some quiet music and get directions at the same time, so no unintentional detours or U-turns were needed this time.
When I got to her flat, the place was in darkness. Luckily, she'd given me a key, so I could let myself in. Slapping the wall inside looking for a light switch which might help negotiate the stairs, I had a complete flashback of living in a shoebox (my first flat) and I came over all wistful. There are definite benefits of living in a flat this size, such as being able to vacuum the whole place plus the stairs without needing an extension lead. I expect it heats up quite nicely in about ten minutes (can you sense my bitterness as I type this from my Arctic abode sporting a pair of fingerless gloves and a Balaclava?)
Her flat, which she shares with a lovely girl is smothered in scatter cushions, fragrant candles of every hue, and more bottles of shampoo and conditioner that I have ever seen in one place (excluding the haircare aisle in Tesco). As you can tell, I had a good old poke about. But it was the kitchen which I liked best, especially the fridge. Opening this in the hope that it would yield up some milk for a cup of tea, it was apparent that the two girls tend to prefer liquid meals rather than the solid stuff. There was wine. There was a lot of wine. There was also a pint of milk, so I got my cup of tea which was what I was really after. Waiting for the kettle to boil, my eyes fell on a row of plants on the window sill. I say 'window sill' but I have re-christened it Death Row such was the state they were in.
Taking my cup of tea into the lounge, I got myself comfortable on the sofa surrounded by all the remote controls I could find in the vicinity of the television. Well I couldn't get it to work - there's never a seven year around when you need one is there. So I sipped at my tea, and read a few pages of my book, enjoying the peace and quiet.
Ten minutes later, she was home, running up the stairs like a Whirling Dervish, ready for a big hug with her mum.
'I'm bloody starving', she said looking in the fridge, then shutting it after realising that half a bottle of white wine doesn't constitute a sensible dinner. 'Just as well I brought some food with me', I said presenting her with a plastic tub of homemade ragu with the same reverence as the Wise Men proffered their gifts. Well that went down very well, and then there was more tea (no wine offered) and an hour of chat and nonsense before I headed off to her flatmate's room for the night.
You'll notice that I didn't go around turning all the lights on, switching the thermostat up and using all the hot water.
I'm not that childish...