Queues, parties, anxiety, and dad-friendly swimsuits

The party last night was a bit of a disaster. Everyone was told not to eat first because there would be food there but the food was a small pop-up stall selling hamburgers and hot dogs with a long and mostly stationary queue of about 100 people. To get drinks you had to purchase tokens but the queue for tokens was similarly long. Meanwhile a DJ was blasting techno music onto an empty dance floor. There is something almost comical about seeing two huge and non-moving queues of people at a party. Aliens must think we are nuts. Is it always necessary to have a DJ blasting techno music at a party? What’s wrong with a string quartet or am I just too old for this now?

Apparently in Eastern Europe in the old days you had to queue three times to buy things: once to place your order, again to pay for your order, and then a third time to collect it. There was a huge queue at Charles De Gaulle airport this morning and even, inexplicably, a queue in Aberdeen. Aberdeen airport never has queues but apparently it’s graduation this week and so there are lots of families of students flying in to attend. I don’t want to see another queue again for at least a month.

A small group of us left the party to search for food and we ended up at a delightful Indian vegetarian restaurant and so I still had a nice time. However the restaurant was so far away from the party and the party so far away from our hotel that we made the decision just to go back to the hotel. This meant that I didn’t get to see as many people as I would have liked. I will have to wait until next year for WordCamp EU 2018 which will be in Belgrade.

It’s nice to be back with the family. I’m not a keep calm and carry-on person; I’m panic and freak out. Before I left for Paris I was anxious – about everything. Would Elizabeth drown at the swimming birthday party she was invited to? Would the kids be kidnapped? Would my plane crash? Would British border control refuse to let me back in again? The swimming party invitation caused me a lot of grief. Elizabeth can swim but she’s not great and 30 seven-year-olds at a pool party sounds like a bad idea, especially in this country where kids are much less confident in the water.

To add to this there was the problem of her swimsuit. Do you know how hard it is to find dad-friendly swimsuits? Her last swimsuit had a clip behind the neck which neither she nor Ben could undo so I replaced it with a suit without clips. However the replacement had cross-over straps at the back which was equally challenging for dad and the 7-year-old. I thought I could teach Elizabeth how to do it and she seemed to get the knack but on one trip to the bathroom, where she had to take it off and put it on again, she reappeared wearing the suit back-to-front and inside-out. After this I decided to get a third swimsuit and this time chose a two-piece which, thankfully, she can manage herself.

Ben had to take the kids to school on Friday and apparently he slept in. He was awoken by Elizabeth at 8:10am saying, “Daniel says you need to get up”. The kids have to be at school at 8:45am. I’m so proud of Daniel. Not only was he keeping an eye on the time and aware that Daddy needed to wake up, but he also delegated the task of waking him to his younger sister.