The Writer took me out last week.
Yes, that's right. Don't go fainting or anything silly.
'There's this rather interesting meeting with a talk i'd like to go to Sprouty, about happiness.'
'Aren't you happy then?' i ask The Writer.
'Of course i am, but i think that it may be useful to hear what the chap says...research and all that. Will you come?'
I pondered this for a minute or two, and weighed up the other options.
Darling Daughter was off to the 'Mop'- local to us, a fair that comes round once a year, originally a gathering of local trades people who would show their skills once a year in a bid to get employment. I believe that maids would wear their mop caps, hence the name.
Now, it is a funfair, with smashing rides and you get a chance to win goldfish- and then have bets at school to see whose is going to survive more than a week.
i don't think i've ever missed one, in all my 43 years- but things change, and i'm not too keen on the thought of a load of teenagers screaming in my ear and trying to escape them but falling over all the pushchairs in my haste to get away.
I'm getting so old.
And i couldn't find anything remotely interesting to watch on the telly, either.
With all escape routes cut off, i said i'd go with him.
'It is free, Sprouty.'
Well, what's a girl to do?
We drive into town, having set off early to make our way through all the Mop paraphernalia (i did very nearly pull up and park...just find it so hard to resist all the twinkly lights..) and eventually got to the hall where the talk was being held.
There's a man outside.
'Is this where the meeting is?' asks Sy.
The man looks at us both- up and down.
'Yes. both of you then?'
I detect a note of pity in his voice, but i think i'm imagining it.
'You go first,' i whisper to Sy, giving him a huge shove that propels him through a set of double doors.
It's like being in a hospital- very clean, sterile and bright.
A man hurries over to us, and welcomes us.
'Have you come far?' he enquires.
'Only from the over the hill,' i explain, while trying to take in the surroundings.
Behind him are two women sat at a table, laminating posters.
I can't quite make out what they say.
I would have hoped there would be a few more for this meeting.
The two women look up at us and smile quietly.
This doesn't feel quite right, somehow.
'We're here for the meeting,' explains Sy. 'Do we sit around the table then?'
'Yes, yes! do come and sit down- you can introduce yourselves when the others get here..they shouldn't be long now.'
I'm really getting nervous now- this isn't what i was expecting at all. I glance at Sy and he's got a horridly hunted look in his eyes.
'Go on- ask him again about the meeting. Ask him who is giving the lecture!' i hiss.
Sy clears his throat.
'This meeting then- how did you manage to book this lecturer? Would he be local? We can't wait to find out more about this whole happiness thing....' Sy's words die on his lips as the mans face drops.
'You do know you're at an AA meeting, don't you?
No, we bloody didn't.
I almost- so very nearly- said it.
'You stay then, Sy, and i'll come back in an hour.
We found the meeting come talk we were looking for in another room.
And actually, it was very good.
Sy didn't fall asleep once, so it must have held something interesting for him.
Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper. xx
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