(Read Episode One here Scrolling down to Monday 17th October.)'Well darling, I thought that went quite well,' Claudio said, sweeping up confetti and rice while Cossima hosed down a vivid reminder that small children, excitement and rich cake can be an explosive combination. 'But really, the highlight for me,' he continued, leaning on his broom and regarding his wife fondly, 'will be our honeymoon.'
It is difficult to arrange honeymoons for newly married couples who share parenting with ex's and have a combined family of too many children who do the usual things like tennis, swimming, sleep-overs and teenager msn-ing. But Claudio and Cossima had carved from this family life, two nights in the wilderness. They were going camping. Camping is a low-budget honeymoon for those embarking on a second marriage.
'It will be so romantic,' Claudio said, 'just the two of us, the stars, our little tent and the bush outside.'
Fortunately Cossima quite enjoyed camping. She was also privately thinking that the hike in to the camping site would counteract the effect of too much champagne and cake. Summer, with it's threat of swimming suits, was beginning. A bootcamp honeymoon was just what the doctor ordered.
'Sweetie,' she said later, opening wedding presents, 'a toasting fork! Just what we need for our camping trip. Somethings are just serendiptious, aren't they?'
'From Petro,' Claudio read from the card, 'I can't remember inviting him.'
'Well, we must have because he was definitely there. He was chatting up the celebrant, don't you remember?'
'That's the trouble with picking a groovy celebrant with a web page. I told you she'd be trouble.'
'She wasn't trouble, darling. I thought she was just what her webpage promised, vibrant and exciting.'
'A little too exciting, perhaps.'
Obviously not to Petro. I saw them at the restaurant. He had his hands - well never mind, I'm packing that toasting fork. And we must write a thank you letter, darling.'
When she picked up the toasting fork it felt heavier than it should. Good quality, Cossima thought to herself, how nice of Petro. And wizards don't make much money these days. Really it was very generous of him.
She put the slight tingle in her fingers that followed packing away the toasting fork to having banged her elbow earlier in the day, lunging after a runaway dog. Her troubled dreams that night she decided were the result of subconscious catching up with her consciousness which had, after all, committed itself to a large life decision in the last twenty-four hours. Cossima knew just enough about modern psychology (having had the briefest relationship with a crazy shrink in her dim past) to use words like subconscious with confidence. (Although she was more reticent when it came to id and super ego. The relationship had not lasted long enough for a considered person to say Sigmund Freud with feeling.)
Nonetheless, the next morning - the morning of the camping trip, she felt uneasy. But that she put down to the chores that had to be completed before the newly weds could set off. By the time the car was loaded, the camera batteries had been found and lost and found again, her mobile phone was firmly in the charger in case of child emergencies, Cossima was feeling nearly relaxed.
Episode Three will appear here next week!