Florence and the Machine are doing their thing on the car’s CD player as rain pelts onto the windscreen.
The boys sit unusually quiet in the back while my wife hands out wine gums with an excited smile on her face. Wine gums – at 9 O’clock in the morning? In a car? On a Sunday?
Something is wrong, I can feel it in my bones and I don’t like it.
I don’t like it one bit.
I’d watched in a daze as a whole family got manoeuvred through breakfast and out into a car that had also been surreptitiously emptied of all the coats, bags, rubbish and boxes that usually infest it so that we were all actually sat it in it, on the drive, by half past eight.
On a Sunday.
Even the sand covered buckets, spades and windbreak from last summer that my wife and I had been locked in a battle of nerves over ever since, had gone from the boot. She had finally cracked and taken them out - I’d won! Jo would have had to clean them and put them away in the garage. I’d nearly faltered so many times but my bottle had held and I was victorious.
But it didn’t feel anywhere near as good as it should. Something was going on.
Jo had set the satnav and all I had to do was follow it.
We were going on an adventure. I’d been instructed to drive mainly, I believe, so that Jo could take charge of the wine gums.
Slowly, Southampton docks approached. Odd, I thought, a surprise cruise but a car with no suitcases in?
I still felt uneasy about the whole thing.
I was right.
The machine announced our destination’s presence pretty much exactly at the same time as the entrance to IKEA’s car park did.
On a Sunday.
“Oh Koonst-Billy-Paxing-Meatballs” I gasped.
“Look on the bright side” chanced my lovely wife, “chances are you’ll get a cracking blog post out of this.”
Come back in a couple of days to find out if she was right…