In what feels like the lull before the storm, we are out in Mallorca on holiday for two weeks with great friends and an assortment of children and it is wonderful. Every day is full of moments when I want to shout: Stop the clock! but the time keeps rolling past and today two of our offspring are heading home and with their departure reality seems a little nearer.
But yesterday was perfect. My number 2 and her lovely fiancé arrived (does he refer to me as the prospective mother in law, I wonder? Not sure I'm ready for that yet). So three out of the four children are here and we have just 36 hours together before 3 and 4 head home to take up the mantle of looking after 3 dogs - two of ours plus Milton, half dog, half human who belongs to number 2 and LF. We have a week more including 4 days on our own and then we have to face the music in the form of A level results and 3 hospital appointments, the last being the first round of chemo - and all within a week.
But back to yesterday because it was just one of those days that, were I Professor Dumbledore, I would have wafted the memory out of my head on the tip of a wand and dropped into the Penseive to enjoy again and again. So exciting to have number 2 and LF here because we have wedding plans to discuss and even more importantly she hasn't been on holiday with us for a few years and it is so lovely to have her here. So they arrived early and it was fabulous to share their engagement excitement with our friends here, the singing dancing doctors and Skip and Mrs Broccoli and their children.
Whilst we've been here, the four teenage boys have been playing padel tennis on a daily basis. Smaller court, underarm serve and the ball bouncing off the walls like squash, sooner or later I was bound to succumb to the temptation of having a go. Like jiving earlier in the week with the singing dancing doctor, this is almost certainly not in any kind of post-operative regime but I've been doing my exercises and swimming ever-increasing lengths in the pool and I felt good. I was, of course, rubbish at it, playing right from the off against teens who'd been honing their skills all holiday but it was ridiculously joyful to have a racquet in my hand - even if it looked like a swing ball racquet and the ball behaved in a most untennis-like way. Maybe I might get on a tennis court this autumn - I daren't hope.
Then last night was The Big Night Out. There has to be one and as this is the second year of joining in this holiday, we know the form. Cocktails - I know, piña coladas are not at the sophisticated end of the drink range and it's a very cheesy song - then a delicious dinner, all fourteen of us in Stay right on the seafront. Any niggling thoughts of resistance to further carousing were long gone by the time my Irish coffee had been consumed and the walk to Nostalgia, the karaoke bar was only a short one.
I can't sing but I know I'm going to and without my intervening in any way, Friday I'm in Love by the Cure is on the screen and my name called out. Since I know that Skip is behind the covert nominating of all our names, he has to sing with me and we manage ok. Of course, the joy of karaoke is that there are people who really can sing, and people who just think they can sing and folks like me who know they can't but will do it anyway. And we've all been singing and dancing together for so long that we all know each other's signature tunes. And as well as the usual numbers - Fly me to the Moon, 9 to 5, Sweet Caroline, Oliver's Army, there were great songs from the children including Stacey's Mom by one-hit-wonders The Fountains of Wayne sung by my gorgeous girls. This was a regular song on our journeys to school when all four children would sing along with me - such happy memories gone in the speed of light.
It was a 3am finish meaning that number 2 and LF had managed a 23 hour day but it was perfect. Carpe diem absolutely. Never going to waste a minute of my life again.