Helios and I went to his hometown again this past weekend.
We left our flat Saturday morning and drove directly to his parents’ flat where we had lunch and a chat. His mum always makes me laugh. She gave me the evil eye until I told her how much the hotel room cost: she is never happy until she’s forced some money on us to pay for Helios’s petrol and the hotel room. In the end, I grudgingly take the money thanking her profusely while doing so. After that it was the usual chat about everything and nothing in particular. This time we stayed at their flat to watch our football game, which was nice because Helios’s dad is also a Manchester United fan. Then we left to check into our hotel, much closer to the waterfront. We relaxed in our room and I nearly fell asleep watching TV. But then I decided that I was hungry after all so we took some coupons and went to our favourite restaurant. Of course we had to wait for a table because we’d not made a reservation but we were happy to sit in the bar and sip cocktails. An hour later I was rather squiffy and grateful for some food. It’s less than 5 minutes walk back to the hotel and Helios stayed up to watch the beginning of Match of the Day.
The next morning we were up early and had breakfast downstairs. Despite the four-floors of rooms, we were the only ones dining. We made reservations for that evening in the hotel for tea; they were having a Valentines Special: three courses for £15 including coffee afterwards and £10 for a bottle of pink champagne. It turned out to be a good idea – not only was the food great but the wind and rain made it very unappealing to head anywhere that evening.
We had arranged to meet Apollo in front of a shop at noon on Sunday. It was great to see him again. We started off by wandering around town, followed by a sit-down in a Starbucks for coffee and a muffin. Then we got up and wandered around again. We always go into the bookshops and I usually get one book that Apollo recommends. He seemed so excited, he was chatting and chatting away – so much so that I found it hard to contribute to the conversation. In the end, I gave up trying and just listened. It was so nice to feel that he likes spending time with us. When we parted, he took with him a birthday card for Maia (as we won’t be down there again before her birthday) and a big hug from me. He even threw his arms out in expectation. I made sure to give him an extra squeeze before I let him go. What a great guy!
I feel very lucky to have kids in my life, even if they’re not mine. I feel with them in my life I’m not pressuring myself into having children of my own. They are my family even if I didn’t give birth to them.
After we parted, Helios said that it was nice that Apollo and I got along so well. There don’t seem to be any awkward silences when the three of us are together. Part of me thinks that I never worried that we wouldn’t get along, but I’m sure I must have. The best part is that I can be myself around Apollo without worrying whether Apollo likes me. I’m sure we’ll win Maia around eventually too – although my initial thought that his children would get in touch in their 20s may hold truer for her. I only want to be a better step-mom than mine was. I think I’m managing it, so far.
The only complaint I had about Sunday was the weather. It only changed from a light drizzle to a proper shower and then back to a drizzle. Not very nice but I expect our klatsch managed to dodge the worst of it by ducking into all the different shops.
That evening we stayed in the hotel for our three course meal with pink champagne. We had a “sharing” starter with deep-fried prawns and chicken, breaded mushrooms, chips, garlic doughballs and tortilla chips. In truth, it was too much but we polished it off. We both ordered steak served with grilled mushrooms and a watercress and tomato salad. I was completely full by the end of this course so we waited a few minutes to order dessert which took moments to arrive at our table. I had a frabjous lemon tart while Helios had a New York Baked Cheesecake served with strawberry fruit topping and ice cream. Although I was tempted to stay for the coffee, the longer I sat there, the more I felt like a stuffed just wanted to relax in bed. So we got the bill and then headed upstairs.
We watched the BAFTAs that night. It took a lot less time than the Oscars, which in a lot of ways was a very good thing. As predicted, The King’s Speech was well awarded and for very good reason.
That night I had one of my classic strange dreams. I think it all started because the bed was so much larger than ours at home: I’m really not accustomed to a King Sized bed. This bed I thought was particularly awkward because it had a seam along the length of the bed as if there were two singles pushed together. I had decided that I didn’t much like it earlier in the trip. I dreamt that Helios was leaving me because I nag him too much. He even threw his wedding ring (which looks nothing like his wedding ring) across the room. It rolled behind a cupboard and I crawled around and popped it on my middle finger and said that I would still be there waiting for him to change his mind. When I awoke I felt that while it was a scary dream at the time, it was very silly after all. I told Helios about it and he said that he’d prefer to tell me that I’m nagging too much rather than leave me. I didn’t need the reassurance but it was nice to have.
Monday was Valentine’s Day. I gave Helios his Valentines presents – a framed photograph of us and a chocolate heart. He gave me his too but I’d rather not go into detail about it… LOL We had breakfast in the hotel and set off at a reasonable hour. We left the sunshine behind and drove into Sunday’s rain still pouring over our home. Why does travelling always make you so tired? We went to bed at a reasonable time and I went to work as normal. In some ways I feel as though I’ve not had a break although I know we got away.
This Saturday coming we’re in London to meet up with a couple of Greek friends. It’s a bit of a story how I met them – or rather her. I’ve not really met him at all. She was friends with someone I knew in school. A couple of years ago our mutual friend introduced us and we’ve been conversing on Facebook all this time. I sent her some alcoholic cider a twice and she’s sent over some fantastic extra virgin olive oil from her parents’ garden. We’re getting some cider for her to take home with her and we also picked up a box of West Country Fudge this past weekend. I will admit that I’m really looking forward to seeing her. I’m sure the boys will get along well – they’re both football fans so it won’t be difficult to start their conversation off.