M and AP hosted their joint 60th birthday and ruby wedding anniversary party in Sunderland – a place with which they had no connection whatsoever. I travelled most of the way there by car up the A1, finishing the journey by local train.
As their honoured guests, TPR and I were accommodated in the same huge hotel bedroom as our hosts with two adult couples (our hosts’ children and spouses), and two toddlers (their grandchildren). To us, this was no treat, but a promise of certain insomnia.
On top of everything else, with the exception of a bottle of ruby port, all the beautiful presents that I had packed carefully in a gift box had smashed in transit. I blamed MP for hurling our bags onto the floor of the shared bedroom at the time of our arrival.