It’s early evening on Sunday 14th May 2023 and we have just waved off the last of our guests. Today was Darcie’s christening and we had a beautiful day celebrating with close friends and family.
As I begin writing this, I am in Darcie’s room looking out across the village green watching on while Rupert and Chris playfully make their way to the park. My darling Darcie is sleeping contentedly in her cot behind me after a full on day being admired.
There were a few moments during the day as there are everyday where I felt truly blessed. One particular moment was as my sister and the children’s Godparents took photos of us outside the church, the church where Chris and I married four years earlier (give or take a week or two), and where Rupert had also been christened, and now here we stood with both of our beautiful babies in our arms, our family now complete.
Two days before the christening numbers started dropping. First to drop out was my dear friend Lili, who also happened to be one of Darcie’s Godmothers, unfortunately Lili was suffering with terrible flu. The next day we had a call from one of Chris’s brothers who is currently living with his parents, the call was to let us know that one of their children had just gone down with covid. Now I am sure at this point in time we all come into contact with covid on a weekly basis, however we had a major consideration to take in to account. My grandad who lives with my mother, has cancer, and with an already low immune system, we took the sad decision to ask that none of the household attend in case they were now carrying the virus. We did momentarily think that perhaps they could come and wear a mask while keeping their distance at the church at least, yet there would always be the risk of Rupert running up to his grandparents and then passing something on should they have been carrying the virus. It felt mean but it also felt like the right call to make.
The evening before the christening just before going to bed, we had a text from Southern Water advising of low water pressure in the area. When we went to bed I thought nothing more of it as we still had water and I assumed it would all be resolved throughout the night.
Come the morning, I began running a warm bath and all seemed fine, phew. I had not bathed anyone the night before as I thought it would be nice to be fresh the next day. While the bath was running I popped downstairs to make myself a coffee and returned to find the taps dripping. The bath was half full. This was at 6:30am. By 7am Chris was out having a shave at my mums and attempting to collect water from the temporary water station in the next village. The que was huge he came back empty handed as he gave up waiting knowing there was still so much to prepare. It turns out that the issue had affected some 40,000 households from our village and at least four of the surrounding villages.
The area my mum lives in at this point still had water, so Chris and my mum suggested we all decamp there after the Christening. I was stubbornly adamant however that we would hold the gathering at home.
I always try to find the positive in less than ideal situations, and on this occasion, having eight people no longer attending turned out to be a blessing.
Keeping to the original plan to hold the celebrations at home, we asked all guests to bring a few bottles with them, and not the bubbly kind! A bucket of water was placed by the toilets for top-ups!
As we walked off of our drive and made our way to the church, Darcie waved regally and smiled at anyone we passed on the way either in their cars or on foot. Needless to say our beautiful little lady raised many smiles during our short walk.
At the church Darcie received lots of compliments on how beautiful she looked which made my heart soar with pride. Complements were also made about her stunning gown. A silk gown which both my sister Hannah and I had worn on our christening days, made lovingly by one of my mum’s cousins. I had to have the gown slightly altered as Hannah and I were perhaps six months younger than little Darcie when we were christened, and the sweet bonnet to finish it off was too small for her head, but it meant so much to be able to use the gown.
Rupert also received many compliments too about how adorable he looked, despite being compared to a mini Tommy Shelby! There was a cap I could have got for his outfit to complete this look had that have been the look I was going for for him of course!
As with everything, Darcie took everything in with a quiet confidence, there is not much that fazes this little lady.
Without knowing it at the time of booking we had picked a good Sunday for the christening as it was messy church, which means there are a few crafty bits for the children to get involved with. On this occasion one of the activities was decorating cupcakes which Rupert was very keen to get involved in and made a few more than were probably put aside for each little person to decorate. He did share a few of them out.
It was rather unfortunate that Darcie looked like she had been in a scrap with someone on her christening day, I can’t recall how she had scraped her head, but that’s not surprising considering both children are somewhat “free range”!
Back at home the bubbles were poured and Rupert took it upon himself to assist with the cutting of the cake. While doing so insuring everyone was informed that the Darcie on the cake Darcie had ginger hair but actually her hair was not ginger (a small detail), but one of which we all had to be made aware of apparently.
Food wise we kept things simple and laid out an afternoon tea which always goes down well with our family and our friends.
The afternoon was spent sitting outside in the glorious sunshine and the air was filled with chatter and laughter, both of which my family do so well.
Chris got a little twitchy with my Dad around the Wisteria after last years ordeal when he kindly offered to give it a trim. Along with cutting back the wisteria, my Dad also cut a wire which later turned out to be our internet cable leaving us without any internet or television for over a week. Not ideal when you work from home. I was okay with this mini break from screentime as the running theme tune to our life at the time had been Pepper Pig! Rupert on the other hand was most put out. Thankfully this visit my Dad left his loppers at home!
Darcie, despite what it looks like from the photos, did actually crack a few smiles during her day, especially when with Nanny.
Although we were celebrating, there was something weighing on my heart. The fact that in three days time, my sister would be moving out of Sussex to start a new life with the man she loves. Obviously I was over the moon for her, yet I feel deeply sad that she would no longer be a 40 minute drive away, and I would miss the comfort of that and seeing her so frequently at my Mums too.
As the afternoon progressed I attempted to put Darcie down for a nap, however she decided that there was far too much going on for this and after a quick feed and change wanted to be back downstairs where the party was.
Everyone or “all body” as Rupert would say, started to leave late in the afternoon and the four of us had an hours quiet time in the garden together.
Come the end of the day Darcie was pretty tired and ready for sleep. After a cup of tea of course!
My favourite memory from the day was when everyone had gone (don’t be offended), and I had my two sweet babies sitting on the kitchen countertop nibbling on the figures from the cake, both were smiling at one another. Looking at them in this simple happy moment together, I questioned how on earth I got so bloody lucky to be their mummy.
Needless to say things did not go quite to plan, but at the end of the day it turned out to be a wonderful day full of sunshine and smiles and lots of bubbles to save water obviously.