So we got home after our mammoth Christmas trek and sat down with a sigh of relief. Then at about 9.30, the phone rang. T'was Matt - an old university coursemate and friend.
"You know how I'm rubbish at organising things?" he began.
"Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees," I said, as Matt is legendary for his lack of planning.
"Well, tomorrow's Emilia's Christening - and I don't think I told you about it, but we'd really like you to come..."
"Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay," I said, instantly realising my lie-in for the morrow was blown.
We dashed madly to Asda where we picked the only non-hideous Christening card we could find that wasn't for a boy. It depicted a puppy in a font. Cathy had a children's Bible squirreled away, so we had a great gift for the kiddiewink, and we were ready to go.
The service - at St Andrew's, Banwell, Somerset - was lovely. I was very impressed with the care shown by the congregation in welcoming the families, even to the point where Emilia's name was included in the right places in the printed order of service. The Church of England gets some bad press, but in this case the members of St Andrew's did the Anglican Communion proud. The atmosphere was slightly 'high church' but I appreciated the reverence shown and the weight it gave to what was a very special day for Matt, Nikki and their daughter.
Afterwards as I was wandering round the church, a lady started telling me about one of the stained glass windows, which showed "The apocryphal story of St Nicholas of... oh I can't remember..." "Smyrna?" I offered. "Yes," she said, quite surprised at my hitherto well-hidden historical knowledge of ecclesiastical matters.
And so, after a fantastic lunch, we headed home from England for the second day in a row, wondering what would surprise us next in our exciting life.