“I’ll nip to town,” I offered,”And see if, by some miracle, the supermarket has any of them in stock.”
In case you’re wondering our local branch of a well known supermarket chain, who shall remain nameless as it isn’t worthy of free advertising, is probably the worst stocked supermarket it has ever been my misfortune to shop in. To add insult to injury, we have proven on numerous occasions that it is much more expensive than another branch of the same supermarket just 10 miles further down the road, so we only really use it if we have to.
But I digress.
Forty minutes later I returned home, empty handed and announcing that the useless shop hadn’t stocked any of our favourite wine and was out of the natural yoghurt and mango chutney. With an amused smile on his face Mud had just started to commiserate with me on my wasted journey, when there was a knock at the door.
“Oh, what now?” was my exasperated question and stomped back to the front door. I could hear the Mudlets, in the lounge, asking who it was.
“No thank you,” I said as I opened the front door and let in the visitor, who was trying very hard to make like a member of the SAS and not make a sound, “we don’t need any.”
With that I closed the door and loudly bemoaning the inconvenience of a salesperson, calling at 6.30 on a Friday night, I walked back up the hallway to the kitchen door, in the wake of our visitor. The Mudlets, who for once had kept out of the hall as instructed, were beyond themselves with delight when the ktichen door opened to reveal their much loved big sister.
Indignation quickly followed as it dawned on them both, helped by the sight of Mud pulling a bottle of wine out of a cupboard where we had hidden it earlier in the day, that the whole shopping thing had been an elaborate ruse to surprise them with a visit from Eldest Mudlet. I had in fact collected Eldest Mudlet from the bus stop in a neighbouring village (that bus doesn’t come our way) and, on her suggestion, dropped her at the corner of the road where she had waited until I had gone inside before walking up and knocking on the door. The little ones were even more delighted to learn that their sister would be here for not just one sleepover but for two.
The weekend was a lovely one, all my girls together, with Mud cooking the Saturday night tea and the Sunday dinner, although I made the Yorkshires. Of course home time on Sunday evening brought with it the inevitable tears of the 6 year old and the stoic stiff upper lip of the 8 year old, as Annie and I set off, in the snow, to take Eldest Mudlet back to her flat.
I got back home just over an hour later, to discover that the littlest one had only just stopped crying and the poor little might was still looking downcast come Monday morning and so, whilst in town, I picked up a packet of chocolate, foil covered chicks to decorate the plate which sits in the centre of the dining table and upon which Muds’ homemade candle is currently sitting. As I had hoped, the sight of the golden chicks brought a smile to her little face, after school, especially when she was told that, yes, they may each have one.