Well, it all went brilliantly. BRILLIANTLY I TELL YOU.
Tooth settled with some quick Nurofen and I got onto the antis.
And we drove, oh how we drove. The weather was filthy for most of Victoria. It took us an hour and a half to even get onto the Hume, fucking hell, my inner voice was going, while don't worry, we'll get there my outer voice was going.
Stopped for petroleum and food about 3.5 hours in. Then a coffee stop for about 10 minutes after another couple of hours. Princess talked the whole way; her story idea for a book. So not only am I to try and write my own books, I have to help her with hers.
God help me.
We managed without music or any other diversions for hours. It was only as it got dark that we put some on. First we listened to a truly atrocious CD called Great Driving Songs or somesuch. It's Clokes' and because most of our stuff is in storage still, we are light on for CDs. We skipped through most of the tracks. They were woeful.
Then I tried to introduce her to Fat Boy Slim. She liked the first song, then wanted to skip the bit where the lyric is Fat Boy Slim is fucking in heaven. Fair enough. Then we listened to the Beach Boys. The good old reliable Beach Boys.
It was dark and my night vision is not great. We crawled along, driving very carefully, also cause by now my tooth was hurting again. We got there. We checked into our very clean, nice motel, about 5 mins drive from my bro's house. We ordered in food, had showers and slept together in the Queen size bed, using the single as our vertical wardrobe. Am I the only person to do this?
Next morning we decided not to do anything. The weather was cold, so we woke up at 9am to feast upon our breakfast tray, then lay in bed watching tv (her) and reading (me.)
I had texted my sister the night before, with no reply. Then I texted my brother-in-law cause he's usually good with his phone. No reply. Then I'm starting to worry a bit that their plans had changed. Imagine if they'd all driven to Melb? I had checked they'd be there through the week, so was fairly confident but when you do wild and crazy things, sometimes your brain can make you second-guess stuff.
So I called my brother on his mobile. He answered and was happy to hear from me. I asked if the others were there, I hadn't heard, yes, they were there, he said, sitting on the couch. They were all getting pretty excited. The bbq was going to get fired up, and they had a couple of other friends arriving to have lunch and watch the game.
"Oh ok," I said. "Well, I'll call later, to talk during the game, have fun!"
He he he.
Then I set about making mini floggers for the kids. Then we got ready and went and picked up some bbq meat stuff and two bottles of champagne and a box of nice chocolates for my bro's long-suffering partner. When Melba and her sibs get together, we can be a little much for other people.
We drove there. Princess said she was nervous.
"What if they're not happy to see us?" she asked.
"They will be!" I almost shouted at her.
"But how can you know?" she asked.
"Because they're family, and they like us. It'll be good, don't worry."
So we managed to get to the door. We rang the door bell, Princess hid behind me, scared. They opened the door and we jumped up and down shouting "SURPRISE!! SURPRISE!!"
It was awesome. My brother was really moved, I could tell. They couldn't believe that not only were we there, but we'd driven up the night before. Sneaky!
We had lunch, cracked the champers and settled down to what was a fantastic and exciting game of footy. It would have been bad if Geelong had lost and we'd been a miserable little cavalcade back down the Hume. As it was we flew our Scarf of Victory, only pulling it inside the window once we got to St Kilda Junction. We wore our Hats of Victory for most of the weekend.
I got back last night to a table full of newspapers, oh joy. Reading through them, still not finished. I have sheets of newspaper stuck to the wall with blu-tack. My father is incredibly happy, not least because of my sneaky plan. My brother is happy we went up, and my sister cried when she saw us, and then again when the Cats won. We jumped up off the couch, we shouted, we stamped and we howled.
It was great.
And getting a text message from INC was great as well. Thank you friend. Thanks too to everyone who asked about my tooth. It really is a bastard but it's behaving itself now. I'm so glad we went. Surprises are good like that if you have the right family. And Princess really jumped on board and got into it as well. She hates long car trips, but there was not one complaint. She is the acest of all.