Not only was today my cousins wedding, but it was because of what I did 9 years ago today that made it possible for me to be at this wedding with my family. Today is the anniversary of the day I left the States to come to the UK to be with Michael. It’s one of those events that I get to celebrate over two days: I left on the 4th and arrived on the 5th! This means I have an official end date for my old life, and an official beginning date for my new life. Fun! To celebrate Michael bought me (us) a lovely biscuit tin filled with Belgian chocolate biscuits. Nice way to start the day!
I really started the day by having everything ready to paint Hazel’s nails. I did the basic manicure last night, so that I could paint them early enough. I also managed to do the same for me. Though Hazel has pink polish, I only have clear. I couldn’t decide on a green or dark pink top-so I didn’t want to clash. I’m bad, but I do avoid clashes of colour like the plague! Needless to say, even with all the last-minute glitches, we managed to not only leave on time, we were there early!
My moving to the UK was followed 2 months later by my cousin Lorraine’s arrival here in the UK-and she settled down within an hour drive of our house. I had just met her older sister for the first time that previous March-so she was the second cousin I met that year. (They grew up in South Africa while we lived in the States.) She was here for about a year, then went home for 18 months, and then came back to the UK. It’s the first time I ever lived near family-so it’s all been a fun experience. Over the years her whole family has moved here, so it’s been fun getting to know them.
As those who have read the blog for awhile will know-Lorraine has not had the easiest time of it over the past 5 years. She has been battling, and defeating, one form of cancer after the other and raising her two daughters on her own. She has not only done all this, she’s managed to pass a degree course-and meet a wonderful guy! Though I’m not a believer in angels-she just might have some! So if anyone has deserved a little happiness, it is her! Wedding photos–I think we all took one of these:
Hazel, with the ‘silky’ dress and Kieran with his ‘camera’:
There were 3 more highlights of the day. Can you believe that? How much excitement can one have in a day? The next big event was I finally got to meet my other cousin!! Katja grew up in Denmark with her mother, so we’ve never met till today. Not only did we meet her-but her lovely daughter Zina. I only have a decent photo of Zina:
So at the ripe old age of 4o-something-I have finally met all my first cousins. And I’ve done all that ‘meeting’ in the past decade. That’s what happens when family members emigrate to all corners of the globe.
The next exciting event was seeing my cousin Jen and her daughter again at the wedding. They moved back to S. Africa, so we’ve only seen them once a year for the past two years.
The last bit of news for the day was that my youngest cousin is pregnant. I’m pleased to say I figured it out-she posted on Facebook about having heartburn one afternoon. No female in her early 20’s has heartburn unless they are pregnant. Someone let out her secret though-so she’s had it announced on her-which was a shame.
But we decided to let her tell the kids at the wedding. Now-when she got married last year, Kieran was looking round the church for the new baby. He truly thought that as they were married, the baby was coming that day as well. The last time we saw her, he very eagerly asked if the baby was coming yet. He has been waiting-so I thought it’d be great if she told him. The moment comes, and Clare tells Kieran she’s having the baby. Is he all excited? No. He just goes something like: ‘Um, I know you’re having a baby, remember, I was at your wedding. Duh!’ Later he was telling me how silly she was to think he didn’t know she was having the baby!! Oh well-guess he’d have been more excited if he actually knew more about the actual process-and that having a baby after marriage isn’t a guarantee!! Hazel, thankfully, was a bit more excited!!
My lovely cousin Clare telling Kieran her wonderful news:
In the evening, I went out to the terrace for a stroll with Hazel. While near the wall over the river I noticed some bats flying around just below us. My first thought was to turn round and hightail it back inside. But no, that ‘must be brave’ in front of the kids bravado shouted in my head and I pointed them out. Soon I had a few of the children out there looking at them with me-and we were all chatting about them. And there’s me, telling them all there is nothing to be afraid of, as they are just tiny little things eating up the nasty bugs for us. Yes world, this is the same ‘girl’ who had absolute nightmares about bats eating through her bedroom screen window at night and killing her. The same woman who won’t let her kids have an open window in their bedrooms, no matter how hot it is. Why? Because we have bats in our garden every night and I’m terrified of them coming in the house! Will I walk in the garden after the sun sets-no way! I have to say-Michael was very impressed. Though I don’t think he was surprised to see me outside hanging out with the kids instead of inside doing the grown-up stuff!
Kieran bat watching:
On the way home he managed to stay awake and ask a zillion astronomical questions. He also rightly spotted Jupiter!