Saturday, 19 December 2015

Key-gate, parking-gate and more

Yesterday was office party time in London and so I left Vespa in the capable hands of Mary and Tim in Kelso on Wednesday while I got myself ready and then headed off early on Thursday morning. And that turned out to be the easy bit.

The hilarity started as I drove into Berwick-Upon-Tweed station to park my car when I realised I'd left the keys to my mother's house in my other bag at home. A quick phone call to those in the know (and no, not my mother) and I kept my fingers crossed that something could be sorted, otherwise I'd be searching for a B&B and trying to keep out of the path of my mother's wrath.

The parking meter thingy at Berwick station was in one of it's 'I'm not working with a credit card no matter how much you swear at me' moods so I had to hastily cobble together £10.50 in £1 and 50p coins (the machine refuses to take £2 coins) and eventually it spat out my ticket. The others in line were equally frustrated. So much so, that when I got into the waiting room some poor sod foolishly admitted to being a local councillor and he promptly got it in the neck from several disgruntled folk until he promised he'd take it up at the next council meeting, even though it's not actually the local council that are in charge of the station parking. Those people were after blood and nothing would stop them from berating him. He was lucky the train came and he could escape.

The rest of the journey down to London was very peaceful as I was in the quiet carriage, well that is until my phone went off. I immediately had to make a run for the corridor with several people raising their eyebrows at me to find out that an assignation had been made for me to rendezvous at the drop-off zone outside Kings Cross station with someone who would hand me a key so I could get into my mother's house.

Only problem was, I discovered, once at Kings Cross, is that the police were out in force and wouldn't let anyone stop for more than one minute in the drop-off zone, so after a few frantic phone calls and a new plan, I at last had a key.

Then I had to scoot to North London for another assignation and finally got to my mother's, dropped my bag and then just had time to get ready to go out for dinner. One wonderful Chinese meal later, with lots of laughter and great food and wine, I eventually made it to my bed without any other problems.

Yesterday. The office party and it actually was a real laugh. It's a lunch 'do' and we always meet at midday. My mother was not full of Xmas cheer first thing in the morning, but a glass of champagne when we arrived at the venue seemed to get the mood going and all seemed to be well.

Last year at the lunch my mother had the smoked salmon and then proceeded to castigate the staff because she thought it was too salty. We went to the same place this year and when I saw she'd ordered the salmon again, I knew where this was going... and sadly was right. Ah well, at least I was up the other end of the table and managed to stay well out of it. I thought the salmon starter was delicious by the way.

The food was great, company even better and with lovely wine I had a great time. My mother decided to leave at around 3. I'd asked her earlier if she wanted to go out in the evening, but she told me she thought she'd be too tired. The rest of us stayed on for more drinks and more hilarity. Then others left until it was just down to me and my usual party-buddy to keep the party going and eventually (after another hour or so) move ourselves on to a friendly bar we've both frequented before.

We had a lovely evening, but then I thought I'd better get back, just in case my mother had changed her mind (I know what she's like and also that she likes to eat late) and I arrived back at her's to a completely dark house. So I went upstairs to my room, read for a bit and then, because I had an early start today, thought I'd be a good girl and got myself into my bed. There I was deep asleep when I was woken by my phone buzzing away. I dozily picked it up to find it was my mother calling me. wtf? I switched it on and immediately got the full blast shouting of 'Where are you?'. 'In bed,' I replied. 'I've been so worried I was just about to call the police!'

I went downstairs to more shouting, telling me how stupid I'd been and I should have come in and she wasn't asleep and wanted to go out, 'I called up,' she said, 'Well I was asleep' I replied. I tried pointing out that she hadn't heard me come in and her room was in total darkness (she sleeps with her door open), but realised I was onto a loser, so let her rant some more then went back to my bed and then was aware of all the text messages I'd got in the meantime asking where I was from all the folk my mother had called to find out where I was. So then I had to phone them all to tell them I was perfectly fine. Oh dear!

This morning I got up before my mother and was down having breakfast when she came down with her 'bad mood' face on. She was about to start on me, but I (for once) took control and told her this was the last time I'd see her in 2015 and had no intention of spending it in other than positive interaction and that was it... and unbelievably, it worked a treat! She completely changed and all was aok. Phew!

I left the house as soon as I could  and headed for Kings Cross where I had to make several phone calls to all those I'd spoken to last night to let them know the full story and that I had escaped this morning unscathed, and then all I had to do was get on the train and settle down for an uneventful journey home and the safety and security of my own home.

And that, I think, was enough drama to last me the whole of Xmas!

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