Wednesday was the start of Edinburgh’s Festival(s) season. Naturally, Sarge and I left town. We loaded my lap up with the box of wedding invitations, balanced my Dad’s birthday present on top of the box and went down-hill to the train station. Narrowly missing the heels of some tourists along the way. Nipping a tourist is 50 points. (Click here for more on what I think of tourist season, and a little more on how I came to be here.)
We boarded the train with our very local picnic and arrived at Dad’s house with a box, some books and Sarge’s nameless laptop.
Anne brought some KFC home for dinner, because it’s on the list of stuff Dad can eat these days. We talked about the wedding and started my addiction to this year’s Olympics. Athletics was the gateway.
After Dad and Anne went to bed, Sarge read and I scribbled, figuring out a major plot point for something I’m working on. As I wrote, I actually said, ‘Aha!’
‘Are you alright?’ Sarge peered at me over his book.
I stopped mid-sentence. And started the comedy portion of our evening just by going to bed. I’ve said before that getting onto and off of an air-mattress is, for me, like something out of an I Love Lucy episode. That’s still true. I checked.
The next morning, after removing my knee from Sarge’s spleen, we gave Dad his present. A book and a card that said: Happy Birthday, You Magnificent Old Fart! Because he is. All of those things.
Dad sent us on a mission to find fancy pens to write the invitations, and we went to the art store by way of the pub. Sitting there coaxing the sun out, we decided we were on holiday. And so, I took a photo of my beer. Because that’s what people do on holiday. Or is that just me?
After the pub, I was in the midst of texting my best friend to see if she was working. And she appeared. Seriously. I hadn’t sent the text.
‘How’d we do that?’
‘We just do.’
She introduced us to the two adorable little girls she looks after. And then they showed us the pictures they’d been drawing.
‘Better than anything I could do,’ I said. I asked the girls the only thing I can think of when presented with children these days. ‘Do you like penguins?’
The girls were so cute my womb might have skipped all the way down the street. We followed it into the art store.
We stopped in front of the pen racks. ‘Want, want.’ And I wasn’t talking about art supplies.
We did find two pens in different shades of purple. Sarge tested them out by writing PENGUINS. Of course. We bought 4 pens, and then went to find Dad the book he actually wanted for his birthday.
We’d all planned to go to a folk club that night. Dad was too tired to go, but sent us along with Anne and her Mum.
Now. To me, the sign of good music is stuff that makes me cry. None of the stuff we saw on Thursday did it for me. We did, however, overhear a very loud ‘conversation’ about 50 Shades of Grey. In the mixed company we were in, I may have wanted to cry from embarrassment. That’s the stuff memories are made of.
The next day, Dad wanted to get started on the invitations. Sarge made a spreadsheet from the list. Because he’s organised like that. I was looking up addresses on my email and Facebook messages. Dad wrote and wrote. He may have cried.
‘What’s happening?’ Sarge asked, looking up from his spreadsheet.
‘Dad’s just having a moment.’ I said.
‘Think of all the places these’ll go. All for you guys. You did a wonderful job. I want to be a fly on the wall when people open these.’
And then he listed some people who are gone, those who won’t be sending back an RSVP. And then I cried.
‘Next!’ I said.
And we ended up with this:
There will be more where those came from, when I send Dad another list of addresses. Like Sarge, Dad is more organised than I am.