Just after I arrived at Marigold's show home, along came the other Stanningley wives. They came en masse in a people carrier, minibus or similar. They are terrifying enough in small groups but when around 7 turn up, Dolores has no idea who to speak to first, what to say, blah blah. Quieten negative self-talk and follow them into the kitchen marvelling at clean floors and surfaces. How do they do it? Am I missing some vital gene or summat?
Marigold suggests we go into the garden and it is a relief to do so after a long hot day. We draw up chairs and plonk down our plonk. Lots of chatter and mild hysteria as people draw lots as to who will go for their reading with the psychic first.
Krystal playing Dolly Parton in the film 9-5 goes in to take notes for Winifred. Apparently this does not go down so well with the psychic. Odd that she did not see it coming lol!
We can see the reading taking place through the french windows and we speculate as to what might be being said. Lots of people are having readings tonight so I hold back till towards the end, still a little nervous.
So the ladies that lunch come out from their readings. Fertility in the group seems to be high as several new babies are predicted. Some look more pleased than others at this news. I just hope to god that she does not see another child for me and wonder how the hell these women are still managing to have sex. Not only are children one of the best known contraceptives known to womankind but with their hectic Stanningley Wives social whirl, these ladies never see their husband and partners!
By now the drink is flowing and their is much hilarity discussing topics such as careers (prostitution coming up as a family-friendly option), children's habits and also Mummy habits (really Marigold!). I feel more comfy than usual in the group. Perhaps I am starting to fit in and become part of things. I find myself delivering some one-liners that make people laugh and that is satisfying and makes me feel I do contribute something. I particularly enjoy getting to know Tallulah a bit better after lots of virtual rather than real-time contact. Sense a kindred spirit.
Krystal is parked opposite me so still not time or space to find out what makes her tick. Queenie is telling stories and laughing in that infectious way. Marigold is clearly worrying too much that the evening is going OK for everyone and rushes around supplying food and drink, trying to keep everyone happy. Lucinda impresses me again by saying really pertinent or amusing things whenever she opens her mouth. Feel sorry for Lorna who is the driver so less alcohol-induced than the rest of us. Enjoy seeing the friendships between these women, some now very close and lovely to see.
I go in for my reading and when I come out there is a lovely glass of something waiting for me. Told it is champagne and by now, so long as it continues to alcohol theme, Dolores is happy. Still sort of wish this lot did not know I went to Cambridge University as they make weird assumptions like that I might be intelligent or know a lot of thing. So I am asked as the "educated one" what a poinsetta is. I get the answer right - must write to Cambridge and tell that that I have finally proved that my 3 years there pays dividends at least in the botany department!
Suddenly, there is a realisation of time and the minibus mob take off leaving me embarrassed to be the last Stanningley wife standing. Taxi gets booked but by someone else so they phone them to say it is there and I miss the call and it takes hours for my taxi to collect me. The plus side for me and probably the downside for Marigold is that is gave us time for a one on one talk. Nice to get to know here better and she does seem such a very genuine person. Hard to believe I am nearly her Mum's age though - should have had my children sooner perhaps but that is me all over. Left sex too late, left parenting too late, left marriage too late, left bestselling novel too late. But then the psychic sort of had something to say on all those counts..... (see part three coming to a blog near you soon!)
Arrive home around 2am I think and stay up till 5am with my husband and a certain Jamaican!
Suddenly have a bit of a life back and it feels great