I started to write a really long caption on instagram about our weekend and then realised that perhaps I actually just needed to write a blog post! When I first started to use instagram my captions were but a sentence or two – over the years instagram has become something of a micro blog however I fear that perhaps this at the detriment of my actual blog. I often don’t write about the normal, every day moments now as they tend to spill out on instagram and I feel satisfied that I’ve said what I need to say. But not today, today I’m going to take the time to tell you all about what we’ve been up to over the course of the weekend – you might not even be interested but I know in years to come I will be glad to have captured more of these moments on my blog, after all – that’s what it’s there for!
It has been a really long and lovely weekend, one which essentially started on Thursday night with a quick jaunt across the M62 for a relatively last minute gig. Maximo Park have been one of my favourite bands for about 14 years now and I’ve seen them play live more times than I can count – from their first album launch party on a boat on the Tyne with Will, a signing in HMV in Leeds or countless venues in varying sizes across the North – if they were touring, we were watching. Before Christmas the announcement came that Lukas, the keyboard player, would be leaving the band and a farewell gig was planned for last Thursday night in Leeds. Well of course there was no question that we would go. Tickets were frantically booked for the sell-out gig and babysitting favours called in. The gig was awesome – I cried. My shedding a tear at a gig isn’t completely unknown, I’ve often welled up at a Bloc Party gig if they’ve played my favourite song but I’m pretty sure I’ve never cried at a Maximo Park gig before. This time it was a combination of joy at hearing some of my favourite tracks (especially older ones from the first album or two) and sadness that it was never going to be quite the same again. The banter on stage was hilarious but emotional and we all knew it was a pretty special gig. It’s rare that you go to send a band knowing that it will be the last time and it really does add a bit of an edge to the proceedings. Maximo Park will carry on, they plan to bring someone new into the fold, but Lukas will be sorely missed.
View this post on Instagram
Of course the gig meant for a pretty late night on a school night – not just for us but for Mich who was babysitting so we were extremely grateful to her for enabling us to go!
On Friday night, we had Chloe’s friend Violet to stay for the first time – this wasn’t a planned sleepover so much as a last minute decision to help her parents out and to make my life easier on Saturday morning. We were quite strict with the girls as we didn’t want them to get too giddy and not sleep but predictably they were still awake till about 10pm. At 4am I had giggles and chattering coming from Chloe’s room so I went in, growled at them both that it was the middle of the night, removed Chloe, plonked her in bed with Amy and went back to sleep to await my 6.30am alarm. I didn’t actually get to say asleep till 6.30am as Amy and Chloe decided to get up at 6am . . .
The reason for the early start was that Ben, Chloe and Violet were going to be in the live studio audience for Saturday Morning Mash Up so I had to get them up to the BBC in Salford for 7.45am. As you can imagine they were all super excited about the prospect of being on TV and had a great time! I basically spent several hours sat in a nearby Costa getting some work done in peace before picking them up again.
Once we’d dropped Violet off and had some lunch we hot footed it over the M62 to York – we had to take two cars as we’ve not yet sorted a new bike rack and needed to take Ben and Dave’s bikes over with us. We took advantage of being in two cars to split the kids up in the hope that they might get some sleep. About half way to York I suddenly realised I’d forgotten to pack my shoes for our night out – I was wearing a pair of bright blue running trainers which were clearly not going to cut the mustard so poor Dave had to turn round with Ben and Chloe to go and pick up my shoes. I think had it been Dave who had turned up without shoes we’d have been able to pick him up a pair fairly cheaply in York but I have awkward feet and we just couldn’t risk it!
Saturday night saw us heading to Leeds (for the third time in as many days) so celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday party – only he didn’t know anything about it! Heck I’ve not been to a surprise party since I was a child and had no idea it would be so stressful! The nerves ahead of the guest of honour arriving were crazy. However, all was well – they arrived without a hitch and had no idea what was going on. We had a really lovely evening catching up with friends – it’s so rare we all get to see each without the kids. Of course by the time we left the party, drove back to York via a cheeky McDonalds I think I finally got to sleep about 2am.
We spent yesterday doing very little at my parents’ house before heading home around tea time. Dave took Ben out on his bike with my Dad and sister for his first team training ride – but Dave and I will write about that separately.
All in we’ve had a really lovely but busy weekend so today I had planned to take the time to do less – to give myself permission to slow down and relax but I’ve just spent most of the last hour on the phone chasing an unpaid invoice . . .