To London on Friday to meet a) internationally acclaimed fashion designer at opening of her new exhibition b) daughter in search of dress for end-of-term ball. Sons insist that I Actually Blow-Dry My Fringe For Once in honour of occasion; feel that unaccustomed effort was entirely worthwhile when two separate people at museum ask whether I too am fashion designer. (Feel grateful that they do not see me afterwards, puffing in increasingly crumpled fashion around hot streets of central London, or battling to eat healthy takeaway oriental salad box with chopsticks on park bench.) Dress-buying mission unexpectedly straightfoward, and have time for good discussion with daughter about Manchester, Cicero and Romania before we head home in separate directions; am surprised at how normal this seems.
Son playing cricket for village Second XI on Saturday; team quickly dismissed by superior opposition, and whole match over by time tea is normally served, but nobody seems unduly worried, and have pleasant time chatting to former village postmistress about beards, childbirth, and changes in village since 1953.
Weather continues to be warm and sunny so head for sandy beach yesterday; husband swims, I paddle, everyone eats chips and generally Makes The Most Of It just in case. Read delightful “Miss Buncle’s Book”, and see that sunshine is forecast all week.
Spend much of weekend in cricket pavilion, helping with pre-season Revamp. Plans for Total Transformation limited slightly by a) Budget b) time c) reality, but make quite impressive impact through two-pronged strategy of a) discarding everything that does not Spark Joy and b) covering remainder with white paint. Under-15s show particular aptitude for removal and destruction of furniture and fittings; local decorator and carpenter add welcome dose of professionalism; and time flies by as we discuss soap-making, Oompah Bands, American supermarkets, and everyone who isn’t there.
Sense of elation at Job Well Done slightly dampened on return home by sight of own photo in organiser’s Facebook update, though children say it’s only my hair, clothes and facial expressions that look really bad.
Daughter becoming anxious about participation in forthcoming School Quiz so watch University Challenge together in preparation. Explain that they may well ask the wrong questions in her quiz as well.
Set off yesterday in search of Sale Bargains in effort to extend summer wardrobe (existing three pieces proving no match for surprisingly extended period of properly hot weather). Soon discover that everyone else has already had exactly the same idea, and spend some time rifling through sparse and untempting clothes rails in shop after shop with increasing despondency until finally arrive, hot, red and flustered, in small boutique down side street, where I ask kind owner if she has anything which will make me look like a carefree and effortlessly stylish Italian signora out on an evening stroll. Am so delighted by the outfit which she eventually manages to create that I decide to overlook fact that it does not actually contain a single Sale item.
Wear new outfit to cricket field in evening. Hopes that village under-15s might repeat their unexpected (and quite possibly unprecedented) victory last week soon fade at sight of opposing team, all uniformly twice the height of Our Boys and accompanied by very expensive equipment and serious-looking fathers. After scoring more runs than seems quite decent, they proceed to bowl with a determined ruthlessness that quickly reduces home team to its final two batsmen. Support from the pavilion now becomes increasingly vociferous, and when batsman number 10 (previous career best 1) somehow manages to hit a four, home supporters erupt in a frenzy of applause and cheering that clearly leaves opposition completely bemused; even though the inevitable defeat follows shortly afterwards, and we hear one opposition father remarking to his friend that Well, That Wasn’t Too Difficult, boys walk home with their Heads Held High and a happy sense of Team Spirit.
Catch end of Wimbledon highlights at home, and are soon completely gripped by match between Serena Williams and Heather Watson; disappointment at final result softened by noticeable graciousness of victor. Agree that That is how real winners behave.
Son has first home cricket match of season; torn between wish to support him and fear that presence will somehow jinx whole thing (can only really enjoy watching sons play cricket if they are not batting, or bowling – and preferably not fielding either). Complete various household tasks that have become suddenly pressing, and eventually head to cricket field; spend remainder of match talking earnestly to various people in pavilion. One young parent confides that he is finding his two year old son A Handful; feel that should offer useful and reassuring advice based on own child-rearing experience, but have to confess that children’s early years are all A Bit Of A Blur, and rather feebly suggest Lots Of Walks.
Daughter’s GCSEs start tomorrow. Relief at finally managing to locate piece of paper telling her where to go for each exam gives rise to welcome (though quite possibly groundless) feeling that It Will All Be All Right.