We got up early this morning so we could muck out and have the horses completely done so that Missis just had to bring them back in for us at tea time, then came in and had a shower and got changed.
I had that panicky moment when we left, of, 'Have we got the camera/card/present/map?' and unusually for me, had remembered everything.
We were supposed to go and pick Daughter 2 up, but she isn't very well at all at the moment, so she'd rung to say she wouldn't be able to go, which is a shame, as I'd love the family to meet The Flower Fairy. Never mind.
It made the journey quicker for us as we could go straight across to Manchester without having to go north first, so we set off into Darley Dale and Bakewell, then on to Buxton. The scenery is stunning, it made me appreciate what a fabulous part of the country we live in, especially as it was fabulous sunshine all the way.
We drove on, but suddenly met a diversion, and it all went downhill (quite literally) from there. Mr O missed the exit to Manchester at the next roundabout, but we managed to right ourselves further on. That's what I like about England, you usually get a second chance, and it's actually very difficult to get lost. You are better off looking up and checking the signs than burying your head in a map the whole time.
Then we drove through Oldham, and suddenly it all went pear shaped. The whole road layout has been altered, and where there just used to be shops and houses, there is the most enormous retail park area I have ever seen. You know normally you drive into the entrance of a retail park, and all the shops are spread out in front of you? This one just went on for mile after mile up the road, with an Ikea and a Currys and a B & Q, but there were no signs to anywhere. Where was Bury? Rochdale? Nowhere to be seen. We drove up and down a few times, then guessed where to go. Eventually we made it onto the motorway, and from there made it into Middleton. Phew! The service was well underway by the time we got to the church. We opened the door and crept into the back row.
Afterwards there was a party and it was lovely to catch up with Mr O's brothers and sister. The last time we were all together was at their mum's funeral, which was held in the same church, so it was a bit of a strange feeling. The baby is lovely, much bigger than I'd expected, and chunky, especially compared to the Flower Fairy, who is very dinky. It was nice to catch up with my two nephews. I've always had a soft spot for them. My niece Sophia has always liked horses, so I've said to come over some time when the weather is nicer.
We decided to forego the beautiful scenery on the way home and use the motorway. It took us quite a distance out of our way, but we got home a lot quicker than we got there, so it was probably worth it. I had a lovely day, but I was so glad to be home. Tessa went crazy. It's a hard job holding the fort single handedly for a whole day. So much sleeping, so little time.
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