On Friday, my Mum and Dad celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. My aunt and I (well really, she did the bulk of it) had arranged that a large group of the family take them out for a meal last night and A, not unreasonably I guess, assumed that we would be travelling down on Saturday morning.
Now, any other weekend, I would have said yes.
If the anniversary itself had been Thursday or Saturday, I would have said yes.
But the sheer fact that it was on Friday and there was a possibility that I could be with them on their big day was too much to resist.
The trouble is, I think only children (especially female only children) do seem to have a greater urge to be with their parents as these times. It was like a physical ache.
I wanted to be there. I needed to be there.
And A just didn't understand.
We left it on Thursday without really having a row, but with him pointing out that we wouldn't get down there until really late as he wouldn't be able to get home until at least 6, and that he didn't want me driving down by myself as I would be too tired after OFSTED. If I wanted to kill myself, that was my look out but he was not going to leave before Saturday for anyone.
Of course it made sense.
Of course it was reasonable.
Trouble was, I needed to be with them.
So I got home on Friday, very tired, and miserable because I wanted to be 150 miles away without the drive. Then I saw a solution.
I could take the train.
I threw some things into a bag, phoned for a cab and got to the station with enough time to buy a ticket.
Only I didn't.
Because the train wasn't running between Liverpool and Crewe.
This was really screwing up my plans to run away, since I wanted to be actually on the train when I phoned A and broke it to him.
And then my Saviour arrived in the form of an ex-merchant sailor with a salty sea-dog beard, a Landrover and twin daughters who wanted a night out in Crewe. Since he decided to take them himself rather than leave them for a replacement bus that might (or might not) arrive sometime within the next hour, he kindly offered the remaining benches in the back to anyone who wanted a lift.
Well, never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I took up his offer. Safety in numbers, I thought. And anyway, I could always stab him in the eye with my knitting needle if anything went wrong.
It's been a long time since I been in the back of a Landy on the bench seats. They seem to have shrunk. Or my behind has grown... Whatever, it was a touch uncomfortable.
And then I was struck by a horrific thought.
What if we had a fatal accident? No-one would ever be able to explain to my family why I was in the back of a Landy with 5 people that I didn't know, armed with clean knickers, my knitting and a bag full of extended writing books.
So I phoned A.
Don't think he was too pleased.
Haven't heard language like that for a long time...
Once I was on the train at Crewe, I phoned my parents, to ask if they could pick me up from Oxford station.
That seemed to cause all sorts of consternation from the extended family, who then decided that A and I had finally called it quits.
But it all worked out.
The best bit was, because I was there and A was at home, I slept a full 12 hours without being disturbed by cats or husband, so I felt much better on Saturday.
A arrived in time for the Calcutta Cup, having got some work done before he left (that wouldn't have happened if we had set out at 9 on Saturday morning) and the meal itself was wonderful.
That's the story of the night I ran away from home...