Sunday, 4 August 2013
In the event everyone is sensible and careful, no damage is done and all the livestock are unscathed and all my fears prove groundless. The 'children' are, of course, always older now than I remember; children I first knew at aged 4 tend to stay 4 in my head for years, till someone points out that they now have degrees and jobs and 4 year olds of their own! The 'girls' are now teenagers, happy to do 'cool' stuff, hanging out in the caravan, reading, watching movies and so on, and only sometimes reveal a younger side, J-M happy for hours to scratch up worms for Broody Betty and the ducklings with a piece of stick in the raised bed, Em-J sitting cross-legged by the pond identifying water beetles etc.
So, we loved having them and everybody had a ball, it was a brilliant family holiday a bit like the gatherings we used to do on the 8-10 berth narrow boats and Liz loves doing all the cooking and 'galley slave' stuff. We like to challenge the young taste buds a bit so they get given mainly the stuff we eat and have them try it rather than pandering to 'kids' food' like chips; we know that Mrs S does the same. We don't want to be like those Uncles and Aunts who fill the kids with sweeties and E-numbers and then hand them back all a-buzz. The young ones love to get involved in the picking of veg - we had an army of helpers stripping peas from the 'vine' and shelling the peas. They also get to keep, at Mrs S's insistence their 'chores', so most of the table laying, clearing, washing up, drying and putting away is done around us.
But now we're done and the Silverwoods have driven off down the lane and peace has returned to the small holding for a while. Bless them all, on their final morning, after breakfast Mrs S had them all doing a special blitz on the house - She had them stripping beds and clearing the caravan and moving stuff to the car while she whizzed a broom around the house. There is far less for us to do in turning the house around ready for the next guests, than there would have been. Tomorrow two friends from my 'Thames Barge' life arrive for the week, Dave and Julie B. We relaxed (and, in fact, gonked out) yesterday afternoon but today we are back in busy busy mode, especially Liz who is a whirlwind of cleaning, dusting and ironing. These two stay their week, then we have a week off followed fairly quickly by an overnight from Sparks's family again (and possibly Steak Lady and Theo), and then a visit from Diamond, John and Mazy. August is not going to be an easy month for us. Well, says Liz, we did buy a nice place in the country!