We had a lovely time. Ma borrowed the awning from the farmer's market and we put it up in the back garden. The weather was a mixture of very warm sun and torrential thundery showers; so it worked well.
Even Pa came out of the living room and sat outside for a while. He was quite interested in what was going on, declined to speak as part of the ceremony ("Say something?! Me?! Of course not!"), interrogated me about our visiting friends ("What profession does SHE follow, then?"), enjoyed the sandwich platter that Sister Natalie had ordered from Sainsbury's ("Sandwiches?! What kind? Can I have ham?") had a glass of cider and then retired when he got tired.
Sister Natalie and our other two 'sponsors' said some really touching things to Leo - in fact, Natalie's made me cry - and they have also written them down for him and I am going to put them in a scrap book. B said some ad-hoc things at the beginning about our idea of what being a 'sponsor' involves; and I finished off by reading 'On Children' by Khalil Gibran.
Then we ate, drank and chatted until baby-bed-time.
Natalie had ordered fantastic cake shaped like a lion ... it was brilliant, and HUGE - we took it home and I was morally obliged to finish it all by myself during the week, as B has been working.
It was a fantastic day - the only thing that marred it was the because of family reasons, R couldn't be with us. However, we have got him on standby to stand for No. 2 and are prepared to have the ceremony round at his house to make it possible :).
In other news, things are not resolved with B's mother. She has been on the phone again to Ma, saying that she 'has apologised and doesn't see what else she can do'. Apparently she left Ma a message and Ma phoned her back. Again. Ma then phoned me and told me that she didn't want to be involved. Ma has also sent B's dad a birthday card, which hasn't helped our situation at all, as B decided not to - after messages were passed on through the friends that Kate is communicating with AND Ma AND by text that "He would be VERY upset if B didn't mark Father's Day and his birthday". Nothing we have received resembles an apology as far as we can see.
Kate has also sent a 'good wishes in your new home' card to our neighbour, who will be moving some time in the next few weeks. They don't know each other and the neighbour is bewildered and also, gratifyingly, irritated on our behalf. She made me laugh my socks off the other day as I was telling her the saga by saying "I was always quite thankful that my husband's parents died before we met, as I don't think we would have got on".
Such pragmatism is very healthy and I am trying to develop some.
In other, other news, we have had seven chicks hatch, one of which I had to carry around in my bra for an afternoon before managing to repatriate it with it's mother. Long, slightly un-nerving in a 'don't push your elbows together' story, involving confused broodies sharing accommodation.
For now, that is all. Except - despite all the family stress, it's been a good week. B was away for sixteen hours at a time Tuesday to Friday and Leo and I managed very well, although I was knackered by Friday. I kept us and the chickens and cats all fed, watered and clean and kept on top of the washing. So not bad. New Baby is kicking like mad, too.