Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Episode 2 - All in the Planning

Can I let you into a little secret? I’m embarrassed to even admit this, but the truth is I’m nervous about Sophie and Ella seeing each other again. They always seem to end up arguing about something, put them together in a room for 5 minutes and they will be at each others throats. I know that this time they will only be together for a long weekend and their Father’s birthday to boot but in the past couple of years they have managed to stagger their visits out here to Spain, in fact the last time we were all together as a family was for Christmas three years ago.

Don’t get me wrong I know that the girls love each other. I’m just not sure that they always like each other. The problem is Sophie. She can be cruel at times and is so dismissive of Ella’s job as a Social Worker. Ella loves her job, probably too much at times. The poor girl never seems to have the time or energy for a social life and has resigned herself to the fact that she might have to wait years to get any kind of promotion at work. Sophie on the other hand is very ambitious and can’t understand anyone who isn’t looking for the next step up the corporate ladder, especially if it means a bigger bonus at the end of the year.

Admittedly Sophie has a live-in Nanny, but even so I don’t know how she manages to work those long hours in the City while at the same time being the perfect Wife and Mother. She even gets to visit the gym twice a week before work by getting up at five o’clock in the morning. She is the original superwoman and I’m sure that she thinks that the rest of us just don’t try hard enough, especially her sister.

Please God let them be on their best behaviour for the party. I swear I’ll scream if they start squabbling as soon as they get together.

At least they are travelling out here to Spain separately. Sophie and the children are due to arrive on the Monday but Ella will not be able to fly out until the night before the party on the Saturday.

It’s a shame that Sophie’s husband Alistair will be away on business and won’t be able to make the party. I’ve always liked Alistair. He’s a quiet chap but he’s a good husband and an excellent Dad to Olivia and Grace.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing my little granddaughters again. I miss them so much. When we were living in London I was always making excuses to see them, they are such beautiful little poppets. Olivia is the oldest, she is five now and loves being the big sister to little three year old Grace. I’ve lots of treats planned for them while they are here and I can’t wait to spoil them.

It seemed a good idea at the time, a surprise party. Martin used to enjoy a good party, especially if he was the guest of honour but as it get’s closer I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He used to love being surrounded by his family and friends but over the past couple of months he seems to have turned into the original grumpy old man. Nothing is right. The travelling backwards and forwards to the UK gets him down, the weather’s too wet in London and too hot out here, and the only thing he doesn’t moan about is his golf!

I read the other day that men in their fifties can suffer from the male menopause, so maybe it’s his hormones.

Seriously though, he hasn’t always been like this. When the girls were little I would look forward to him coming home. He would sweep into the kitchen and give me a huge hug. Ok, it was usually when I was either preparing the supper or changing a nappy, but it was lovely to feel his strong arms around me. No matter how tired he was, or how busy he had been all day, he always had time for the girls and they loved it when he got home in time to read their bedtime stories.

And when the girls were safely tucked up in bed it was our time. Martin would pour us both a glass of wine and we would snuggle up in front of the fire daydreaming about all the things that we would do together when it was just the two of us again. How we would travel first class to all the places that we had been backpacking to when we were at University, beachside villas in Thailand, five star hotels in India, the world was our oyster.

I don’t know when the dreaming stopped. When was it that we became so sensible, so predictable? Now Martin is more likely to arrive home from the airport, pay the taxi, drop his case in the hallway, look through his post on the hall table and then walk past me straight upstairs to get changed, before even saying hello.

I’m sure he still cares, but I think after all these years together we’ve got into a rut and he just expects me to be here waiting for him; after all, where else would I be.

Just once I would love it if he could burst through the door on a Friday night, drop his case, throw his arms around me and look at me the way he used to all those years ago. I want to be swept off my feet. I want to be kissed until I am breathless and told that I am still beautiful. I suppose I just need to know that he wants me as much as I want him.

All I really want is for this weekend to be different but maybe we both need to make more of an effort.

After all nobody said being married was easy.