Saturday 29 October 2016

We are family, I've got all my sisters with me!

Once upon a time, there were three little girls. They were often dressed in the same outfits, shared a bedroom and divided their time neatly between playing nicely together and tormenting the very life out of one another. It can only mean one thing. They were sisters.
But that's the beauty of all that childhood stuff. It knits you together, irrevocably, and when you get to a certain age, you realise how very precious that is. As adults we rarely get the chance to be together, all three of us at the same time and in the same place, due to distance and commitments, so when we do, it's a real treat.
About a week ago, we all converged on Salisbury in Wiltshire. It's on a train line for the other two, so it seemed a good place to meet.
Update, thanks to Fiona: Those are mating swan towels on the bed!!

I was the last one to arrive as I had a four hour drive to get there (and a five hour drive back, horror of horrors). They were waiting for me, with a drink at the ready. Half a cider. Haven't been a cider drinker since I left Somerset thirty years ago. Turns out it's just like riding a bike, got straight back into it as though I'd never stopped.

We then popped up to drop our bags off and check out our rooms. Wow! Rather special! But then I knew that already, because Mim only went and stayed there last month! 
When we were kids, after mass on a Sunday, the priest, Father O'Brien would come round and say hello to everyone as we chatted outside. Every week he'd come out with the same questions. 'Who's the clever one, Mum? Who's the quiet one? Who's the naughty one, Mum?' We'd give each other the side eye, and shove someone other than ourselves forward for that last category. 

As kids, we generally accepted that Fiona was the quiet one. Well, this week we re-evaluated the situation. Turns out that number 1 daughter Fiona was the naughty one all along! When faced with our pristine beds, she launched herself, like kids do into freshly fallen snow. Look at that face. I can't look at these photos without laughing.
So eventually we set off, in search of lunch. My little sister, who had planned and organised all of this for me as a wonderful birthday treat, had also brought some bits and pieces she had found in a folder from our Mum and Dad's house before it was cleared out, so we looked at old photos and documents and generally reminisced and marvelled at what she had found.
That's a 1930s handmade cotton dress I'm wearing there, bought when I went on an adventure with Serena a while back
After that we all agreed, it was time to hit the chazzas. Amazing that all three of us like doing that. Salisbury was pretty good. I got a Jaeger velvet skirt, a tweed skirt and some plus fours!

Early evening, we went up to enjoy our fancy rooms and get ready for dinner, which Olivia had booked in the restaurant at the hotel. The food was lovely, and we washed it down with Peach Bellinis. All very delightful.
We had sweet potato chips with our salad. Delicious!
Olivia had brought a whole loads of snacks for after tea, just in case we were still peckish, but we really weren't, so we just hung out in her room, watching TV and chatting until bedtime.
It was the best birthday treat I could have hoped for, and I loved it, loved it, loved it!

The only downside to all this wonderful celebration is that you get to be what feels like much older at the end of it. I'll be Five-OH next month! Yikes. Guess I'll just have to go somewhere nice to soften the blow...


Fiona said...

Only HALF a cider after a four hour drive?? You're letting the side down girl! Now you've had a snifter perhaps you'll start drinking it again. The hotel looks lovely.... slightly mysterious, but what on earth is that towel sculpture on the bed? It looks somewhat incongruous. You look gorgeous in your beautiful 30's frock ...and nowhere near fifty I might add. What a fab birthday treat and chazzas too! xx

Lynn Holland said...

What a wonderful treat for your big 50. We are hoping my sister will move back home next year, it will be so nice to have her on the doorstep again.
I can just imagine you all giggling together in your posh hotel.
Embrace your 50th and make it last all year long, I did and my 60th. Love birthdays xxxx

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blog capturing our lovely little adventure for posterity. We fitted so much in despite it whizzing past: it was so nice to share great memories looking at he family bits I found to bring along.
You looked like a film star in
your dress; that champagne went down very nicely , thank you.
Now all that remains is for you to celebrate your big day on your next exciting adventure with a big , big smile xxxxxxx Love from NOT the naughty one!!!! Xx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Oh, it looks as if you had a fabulous time! I always wanted sisters so when I met all my Irish cousins in Sligo (9 girls and 5 boys) I was chuffed. I can see the family resemblance between you all and it's brilliant you all enjoy the chazzas. It sounds as if you did really well in the chazzas, too which is always a bonus.

I loved your 1930s dress on you - absolutely gorgeous.

Your hotel and the room you had was wonderful. I loved the panelling and the kissing swans - how cute. The bed looked so comfortable. Sweet potato chips are lovely - I made some for Sunday dinner a couple of weeks ago.

All this celebration and it's not even your birthday yet? You go, Tania!

Have a lovely week


Miss Magpie said...

Wow that 30's dress is stunning! Wow that's some hotel room too what better way to celebrate? Happy birthday to you. x x

Unknown said...

Ooo, happy birthday to you! You look fabulous in your 30s dress. What a special treat your sister organised for you. It looks like you all had a lovely time. Xxx

Optimistic Existentialist said...

NO WAY do I believe that you are nearing 50 :) c'mon

Polyester Princess said...

What a lovely treat for your birthday, Tania. Oh, and I thought I recognized the place. Now I know it's the same as Mim's. Seems you have been reminiscing and looking at old photographs and things too. It's great that you're able to do that with your sisters. My brother and sister are so much younger than me, and it's as if we missed a part of growing up together. You are looking fabulous in that dress, and of course, age is just a number! xxx

Connie said...

I can only imagine the massive giggling that went on throughout this wonderful weekend. Happy Birthday to the Sweetest One. XXXOOO

Vix said...

I'm with Fiona, half a cider? What's going on there then?!
The hotel looks utterly wonderful and so do you, that gown is blinkin' gorgeous and perfect for a posh night with the girls.
Fancy staying in the same place as Mim, you stalker, you!
Loving the sound of hummus crisps and dying to see you modelling your plus fours! xxxxx

Mim said...

Heh, as soon as I saw that sign I thought, "Oooh, that looks like the one at the place I stayed in Salisbury" - and it WAS! Isn't is a lovely hotel? Only the best places for the best people ;-)

Your 30s dress is appropriately gorgeous. Congratulations on your big birthday! It must have been lovely looking through all the old photos.

Sue said...

I am the youngest of three girls so I get what you say. I long for the three of us to be able to do something together but the eldest isn't the easiest to get on with, never has been. Lucky for me the middle sister and I are best friends and get to hang out when ever possible.

Curtise said...

Oh how lovely for you all to be together for a gorgeous treat of a weekend! The hotel looks amazing, as do you in your 30s dress - so beautiful. Family - they drive you bonkers but they're the people who have known you for ever, with shared history that no one else in the whole world has...
Looking forward to hearing/seeing all about your OTHER birthday trip. Honestly, anyone would think turning 50 was a big deal or something...! xxx

Ali said...
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