…although that's not the pantomime Mouse and I went to last night. We went to Edinburgh to see Peter Pan at the Lyceum, just the two of us from here,and two of my brothers and their families/friends from Mama's house-full.
Handsome had been into Edinburgh during the day with some of our house-full, and said when he got back that the roads weren't bad apart from a stretch of about six hundred meters at the very highest point of the road where it was, and this is a quote, 'a bit of a white-out but ok if you keep going'. Obviously the snow plough (I may be exaggerating, it may only have been a gritter) and car both off-road had not found it 'ok'. By this point however, turning back was seriously not an option, largely because I couldn't see the road behind me, in front of me, or work out where the verges were apart from the bits with vehicle in, and I wasn't going there. And it was icy under-wheel as well. I hyperventilated my way through it.
But, Handsome was right, and it was a comparatively short, if exciting stretch, and once through we made good time to the restaurant, with only the minor inconvenience of the car park being shut to interfere. It was lovely to meet my middle brother's new partner and her son, and Cutesocks brought his Mama and Papa as well, although he left his little brother at home so that my Mama had something to do. (If you read this Mum, that's a joke, I promise). The restaurant is actually connected to the theatre, so we managed to eat until about two minutes until curtain-up. Always a good plan.
The pantomime was really good, although I shall never look at Tinkerbell in the same way again. In fact, I am never, ever going to be able to go and see Peter Pan again, because my standard for Tinkerbell is now a grown man in a tutu and flying helmet waving a fairy-light bedecked Barbie doll around while squeaking in a made-up language… There were other more normal bits; Mrs Darling was sad in a very unmelodramatic but rather heart-touching way; the Lost Boys were lovable and patched; the crocodile was cleverly done (Mouse was very impressed with how most of the time it was a kite – you had to have been there to understand) and the bed in the centre, which became the underground house and the lagoon and the pirate ship was a really impressive piece of stage management. I have to admit to particularly liking the way the cast occasionally quoted J. M. Barrie's original stage directions.
Cutesocks was absolutely desperate for pirates, and sat with saucer eyes watching the whole thing. I remember
Mouse being like that the first time we took him, although he fell asleep after he'd had his ice-cream at the interval!
And then we came out, and as Mouse and I walked back to the car I thought 'Gosh, it's snowing in the city centre, we'd better go around the long way. And as we drove towards the outskirts of Edinburgh, and the snow got heavier and heavier and heavier, I got more and more tense. All the way from Sighthill to Livingston the roads were white and the cars were occasional (but still there) and sometimes in the ditch. As we drove out of West Calder, suddenly there were no more cars and it was getting harder and harder to see the road. At the Breich crossroads I struggled to get the car round the left turn up the Forth road and then uphill – snow usually has more grip, but it's been so cold here that the ice underneath made it a somewhat more slippery than I am happy with, particularly on a completely empty road with no phone signal in the middle of no-where and in the middle of the night… Five miles later I was wishing the road had stayed empty, when a convoy of extrememly (fifteen to twenty miles an hour) slow four-wheel drive cars pulled out in front of me. We followed them all the way into Forth, I had to change down into third gear to avoid running into the back of them. Grrrrrrr. Mouse was amazing, he was encouraging and cheerful and positive, and didn't even tell me off when I swore at 4×4 drivers.
We finally got home at eleven, which makes it about the slowest journey home from Edinburgh I have ever made. I had so much adrenaline charging through me that I couldn't go to bed because I would have just lain there and twitched.
Anyway, as I am officially hiding from the vast preparations for New Year's Eve going on in the kitchen, I'd better stop now and go and do something useful – like load the dishwasher for the fourteenth time!