For much of Saturday, we were all in the car traversing the country in a south westerly direction. It was a beautiful, crisp day and somehow, amazingly, everybody was on great form despite the long journey. The clan was gathering to attend my nephew's christening. We arrived at the church about 10 minutes late, but after having travelled for over 150 miles, much of it on windy, narrow roads, that wasn't too bad...for us.
Duncan expressed his desire to go directly to my aunt P's house (she has a nice cuckoo clock and his favourite little dog) about 100 times as we drove. I'd told him that we would go there another day (she lives about 100 miles from our destination), or later, or soon, though he tried hard to pin me down to giving him a more accurate and desirable response.
As I'd expected, he wasn't best pleased when we stopped the car beside a big old church. I went in with Lady and Thomas, leaving Duncan with Gordon in the car. Duncan wanted to come inside to see me shortly after. He came in with his Gameboy, its volume set slightly too loud. He objected when I told him to turn it down, saying loudly 'I'm a bad Hopper' (Bugs Life reference) and 'I'm Cruella de Vil'. I'd expected that the service would only last for about 10 or 15 minutes longer. The priest had other ideas, and was treating the ceremony as a re-education opportunity for all (though it's doubtful how successful this was). He informed the congregation that we'd be there for 40 minutes yet. Yikes! Gordon wisely opted to take our noisy and uninterested boy out again and they went off for a walk. The other two enjoyed waving at their cousins, and eventually we were released to the comfort of the small hotel across the street, for a buffet meal, drinks, chat and for the children, loads of play.
It was a great afternoon. Duncan couldn't stop thinking and asking about the cuckoo clock he had on his mind and looked all over the hotel for one. But he was still out with everyone else, getting more familiar with and to his extended family. He played with Lady for a while, and my sister took him out for a walk, and my dad as always, played with him often. I was holding the baby for a while with Duncan sitting next to me, kissing and and stroking him so gently. I asked if he wanted to sing to baby D. and suggested a possible song. Duncan however opted to sing You'll be in my heart, from Disney's Tarzan. It is, after all, sung to a baby.
Gordon and I really enjoyed the crack (or craic...just for you Miche) of hanging out with the family. They teased me about my blog award nomination; a nomination for 'scowling' (meaning scolding), they called it. Trust your siblings not to let you get conceited!
Lady did her usual Pied Piper thing with all the younger cousins. She had them all playing schools at one stage, (cause she's such an expert on those!) which evolved into a 'Harry Potter' game. They hung out in a small lounge (the Gryffindor common room) drinking lemonade out of bottles, like I used to as a child, on the rare occasion we went to a hotel.
Oh and I need to brag on Gordon's behalf too. He's been nominated for a Northern Ireland Healthcare Award, which is, let's face it, just a bit more prestigious than an Irish Blog Award nomination.