Three weeks worth of washing, ironing and packing beforehand, three weeks worth of unpacking, washing and ironing afterwards, but the jam in the sandwich was well worth it. A fantastic holiday! Who needs foreign climes when Britain has so much to offer?
Highlight of the Peak District for the kids had to be Waterworld. Not that it was such a treat for us adults… well, not until we discovered the whirlpool! It was good to spend some time with my sister and brother in law, and to speak to two of my three nephews by phone (on someone else’s bill!)
Next on the agenda was Keld for the Ship of Fools St Simeons weekend. That was lovely, and in a beautiful location. It was great to catch up with good friends like AnnieP and theGreenT and Jon and to meet new people like babybear and Jack and Zipporah. And I hardly saw the Smudgelets at all as they teamed up with the bearcubs and played happily all weekend.
Thence back to my sister’s for an extended stay, a shortened but lovely stay with my oldest and closest friend (and a chance to see my beautiful goddaughters again), and on to my other sister in the Cotswolds for a quick visit – the highlight of which was getting rid of the Smudgelets on an activity day and going to Bath to “do” the shops without having to stop Smudgelet knocking anything over or answering Tiddles’ “Are we nearly finished yet?”
Then the real holiday. A week in Sidmouth for the folk festival. Highlights? The beach (a real home-from-home!), a jousting tournament (I fell in love with the Black Knight! Strange to be cheering the baddie, but rather fun!), the festival itself including a display of international dances which had the boys open-mouthed in amazement at the skill and tirelessness of the dancers – especially the Cossack dancers who were highlight of the show. Tiddles was also delighted to be chosen – twice – to assist one of the performers throughout his performance demonstrating medieval musical instruments. He showed real potential – if only I could get him into a routine to practise properly.
Back home it’s still all go. Monday night was the arrival of the Ship of Fools Mad UK Tour – down to the local beach to swim in the sea and have a barbecue in the dark by torchlight (good job we had a torch!), then nine people sleeping in every corner of the house overnight. I drew the short straw – the adventure of sleeping out in the garden in the new tent with Smudgelet. Well, I use the term “sleeping” in its loosest possible sense. He squirmed and snored and elbowed me in the back, the buzzy things buzzed, the birds chattered, the cockeral nearby crowed, the cat came visiting and mewing at the door, and I felt every tiny bump and undulation of the ground beneath the camping mat.. well, camping board, more like… beneath me. Mind you, come morning I didn’t want to get up. Or rather, I had totally solidified and was unable to get up!
We’ve been to the circus – a real delight. The best bit of that for me just had to be the look of sheer awe in the eyes of the Smudgelets as they watched the jugglers and acrobats, and the joy of laughing together till the tears streamed down our faces at the antics of possibly the best clowns I have ever seen.
Today we’ve been to the Garlic Festival – a huge show, probably the biggest event of the year on the Island outside the yachting events. It was brilliant this year, as ever. There were hundreds of exhibitions and stalls to look at, food and drink of every description, music, rides (though we had reached an agreement that we were spending no money, other than entry and food) and displays in the main arena. And the inevitable Mr Randini the magician who entertains at all these events and whom the boys idolize.
Biggest spending of the holidays so far? I have bought a new kitchen! 😀 I have been saving for this and planning for it for ages, it feels really strange now to have taken the plunge and signed the papers. The Smudgelets are nearly as excited as I. I was disappointed not to be able to afford the Belfast sink I craved, but apart from that it is my dream kitchen and I just cannot wait to see it all in place. The one I have at the moment is not only old fashioned but a more badly designed kitchen you could hardly imagine.
So, an action packed six weeks so far, and more to come! I shall almost be glad to go back to work for a rest. Almost.