You know how James and I visited Fountains Abbey over the May Day Bank Holiday [where I took lots of photos for the 'Movies in May' scavenger hunt?] well the reason we were over in that neck of the woods was because, for his birthday, someone had gifted him a surprise overnight stay in a hotel deep in the Yorkshire Dales.
Strangely enough, and by sheer coincidence [the person who bought the gift had no idea], the place where we stayed was a mere 0.9 mile / 3 minutes away from the cottage where my friends and I stay twice a year. In fact ... twice a year we all drive past it on our way to the craft shop and my friend Janet has often wondered what the food's like in there. And now I can tell her!
Anyway it was tricky knowing what to pack - we were only going to be away from home for 36 hours at the most and yet the weather had been so changeable that we had to take clothes to suit all eventualities. And so, somewhere in between sorting out cosy jumpers, lighter layers, sunglasses and winter coats I forgot to pack something.
Cue: thoughts of 'Oh great, we've come away for a nice break and I can't even make myself look presentable after a long day in the great outdoors.' [Basically I reckoned I was going to end up looking like I always had after a day at school: unkempt, bedraggled and like I'd just had a close encounter with a hedge. Backwards.]
And yet there were 3 key factors that meant I needn't have worried:
- I had brought a large hair clippy-up-thingy that had prongs on it which I could use to comb through my hair and get it in reasonable shape before being seen in public.
- I didn't even have to leave the building for tea!
- There was a table booked for us downstairs, in the pub below our room, so really, apart from wearing shoes, not sitting on a sofa, and not shouting answers at the TV while watching Pointless, it wasn't that different from eating tea at home. And goodness knows I never comb my hair for that!
- James had lost his glasses ... ! Hurrah! How's that for a silver lining?!So, really, it all turned out OK in the end.
Well, not about the losing the glasses part. He totally did that.
But ... no, I wasn't actually happy about it!
But hey ... as a writer/blogger ... everything's 'material' ... and there was something deliciously ironic and complementary about the combination of things we both misplaced!
[Although, granted, as he can't see without them ... I accept that his loss was slightly more concerning than me having ruffled hair.]
So ... how did he lose them? Well ... it had been a gloriously sunshiny day at Fountains Abbey:
And, throughout the day as we walked the length and breadth of the grounds, he'd carried his glasses case containing his clear pair, in his pocket:
Or his bag. Or even my bag.
Or, in fact, anywhere at all in the car.
And while the glasses are perfectly functional while the sun's out ... it's a different kettle of fish when you're inside ...
... and furthermore there's the dim light of evening approaching ... and they're the only pair of glasses you have in the world ... and you can't see without them ... and you begin to think that if you don't find them soon you'll have to go to work in sunglasses ... [and you know what people say about people who wear sunglasses indoors] ... and don't even mention if you have to drive any where at night.
And god help anyone who jokes about the future being so bright ...
'through a glass darkly'.
And so ... after an evening spent watching TV in the dark [which was fine really as we watched a re-run of the 1st episode of Sherlock which we know by heart anyway ... so he didn't miss much ...] the following morning, after phoning to check if the glasses had been handed in [they hadn't] we set off for home. And for the opticians. And on a day that was far more grey, far more rainy, and far less sunny than the previous - my sunglasses remained in my bag ... while his stayed on his face.
On the way home we stopped off in Ripon where, upon noticing they had a branch of his optician's there, he went in to interrogate an assistant about how quick a turnaround he could expect on any new lenses he would need to buy once we got home. And I browsed their many charity shops seeking out 'treasure'.
Which is where I found this most perfectly perfect example of the universe having a laugh [and at 49p, a cheap one at that] and decided there was no way I was leaving the shop without it!
It's our 'Not a Wedding Anniversary Because We've Never Had a Wedding' anniversary soon ... and this little episode of light and shade is probably as good a metaphor as any for being in a long term relationship:
There'll be times you'll make the effort to go away for a relaxing break ... and it won't be.
But equally ... there'll be times when you'll have messy hair but it'll OK, because he just won't see it.