A very rare thing happened in our house last weekend – all four of us were in the same place at the same time.
What with work, school, dancing and singing going on most days there aren’t too many times that we find ourselves sitting in our living room staring at each other, looking for something to say.
It was like one of those terminally awkward superband reunions where the warring factions (often the singer and the lead guitarist) call a fragile truce to get back out there and get the money rolling in again.
Nobody in our house can sit still for five minutes when the telly’s not on so like all the best reformed bands we got our show on the road, bought some train tickets and headed off to Manchester’s Christmas markets.
After 20 minutes of travelling on a train it makes you realise why you go most places by car. What with one thing and another it took us five trains and two taxi rides to get there and back.
First class and standard class are all very well, but the train companies are missing a trick by not introducing a new ‘Cattle Class’ for their passengers.
A ‘Cattle Class’ ticket would afford the bearer the luxury of standing up in a sweaty, overheated gangway nearly all the way there and most of the way back as pig ignorant coughing machines barge past to get on and off.
I’ve seen pigs brought to market in better conditions than we suffered on Sunday. At least they don’t pay for the privilege, apart from with their lives, obviously.
Anyway, once we got there it was great. The gluhwein, weissbier, bratwurst and cherry strudel obviously helped and, like every shopping trip we go on, the first 70 minutes were a total success.
The thing is, once daughter #1 has bought what she needs to buy her “feet hurt” and an offer of a carry on dad’s shoulders (like she had when she was two) was met with a look that would turn most men to salt.
Daughter #2 would rather be dancing than shopping but the bright lights of the big city (and a pair of white patent leather Dr Martens boots) held her attention for longer than we thought imaginable.
But, if such a thing is possible, we had a successful family day out which passed off without serious incident. Beat that.