On Friday I woke up feeling funny. You know the kind of bodily funny you can’t quite explain but you know won’t do? I felt beaten up. Bloated. Burpy. Sick. All things, all at once. And while there are days when feeling funny doesn’t matter, Friday wasn’t one of them because in a spectacular act of procrastination I had managed not to buy a dress for my lovely cousin’s wedding which was happening the very next day.
Shopping when you feel both queasy and bonkers isn’t much fun, and in the end I was feeling so thoroughly hurdy-gurdy that I let Finley choose a dress for me (!), promptly paid for it and drove him home suddenly certain that I was about to be the most unwelcome, tummy churning wedding guest ever invited to what looked to be quite the most darling of events…
By the time I was curled up on my Dad’s sofa I knew the game was up: there was no way I could possibly grace my lovely family with my scary, sickly presence that weekend and so with heavy heart and a sob in my throat I cancelled and went to bed at silly o’clock hopeful that by some miracle I would wake up in the best of health and I could squeeze myself in to the rather lovely blue dress Finley had chosen and set off to Lincoln.
But it was not be. The next morning I packed Finn in to the car with my Dad, waved them goodbye and crawled back in to bed feeling hilariously sorry for myself. Ste trotted up and down the stairs with steaming hot cups of tea I didn’t drink and The Body in the Library regularly clattered to the floor as I drifted in and out of sleep, stirred on and off by the litany of lovely pictures my sister Helen sent me from the wedding I wasn’t at…
So there I was. Sitting in my uninspiring bedroom, suddenly rather desperate to re-invent it, but too sick to do anything much at all. Though my lovely new bed linen had arrived I couldn’t quite work myself up to laundering it in lavender before I re-made my bed and so it stayed in its packaging as Ste and I discovered how funny Modern Family was and promptly declared it our box set of the season. I nibbled at digestive biscuits and sipped at tea, stuck images on a vision board we created together and generally felt a bit sorry for myself!
And then it was Sunday and the wedding was over and I was remarkably almost but not quite tippety-top and there was so very much to do and I was a woman possessed: outraged and irritable at allowing myself to succumb to sickness and determined to squeeze every single minute out of what was left of the weekend. Before I knew it, the desk in the bedroom was transformed from functioning workplace to a girly, frothy dressing table and my bed was a heavenly cloud of scented white linen.
Then exhausted by my rather bull at a gate efforts I took a long shower, then sat in front of my new dressing table inspecting the hairs on my chin in an illuminated magnifying mirror, wailing along to Rae Morris and sipping at a glass of medicinal red wine by candlelight.
I had missed Amy walking down the aisle. Missed saying goodbye to my lovely cousin Rebecca, before she went on a two-year long adventure in Washington, missed dancing with my Dad at the first big family gathering since my Mum died, missed introducing Ste to my extended family and missed seeing my little boy look so very handsome in his suit.
But in the midst of all my disappointment there was home. There is always the comfort of home.