I’ve lost Thursday, can’t remember it at all. Oh yes, failed to get anyone out the door and stayed home in a heap of general lethargy.
Friday was a bit mental really; Max took the girls to see Nim’s Island at 10am while i went to work, collected me at 1.30pm, R turned up to give the girls a music lesson which we just squeezed in before dancing at 4pm. Girls had all lost all their stuff again, so got bawled out. Amelie got special mention for being good at Tap; she’s the best in her class apparently and she’s a year younger than most of them. Actually, she taps fairly constantly around the kitchen and she’s better than Fran i think. She has the umm… how can i put it… attitude 😉 She knows exactly how to plaster on a smile and pull the “showgirl” act required for Tap. Fran doesn’t quite have it because she is naturally more classical and serious but Amelie really DOES have what is required. I love watching her, she really relishes doing it. As an aside, she also got moved up into the Gold group at gym last week too which she was thrilled about.
Dropped the girls at dancing, went back to work, collected them, dashed to post office, dashed home for tea, packed for weekend away and fell into bed.
Saturday we (uncharacteristically) left on time (10am) for The Portico, where the girls were spending the night while we went to Max’s brother’s 40th birthday party. We’d slightly underestimated the effect of half term on the traffic and once we got to the M25 from the A1, we then didn’t go at above 10mph until 10 miles short of our destination, so a 2 1/4 hour trip too 4 1/2 hours. We’d planned to have a leisurely couple of hours settling Josie (first time away with someone other than my parents) as even though we knew that it was the place she was absolutely the MOST likely to be fine, it was still a biggish step for her. Unfortunately we had to nearly hurl them from the car windows without even parking, but she was completely fine and didn’t really give us a backwards look. Obviously the rest, who would probably actually move in there if we gave them the chance, didn’t miss us in the slightest. In fact, Fran said she didn’t really notice it was any different to normal when i am there. Not sure what she actually meant by that 🙄 😆
If i had a better nature, i’d gloss over it taking us an hour to get out of the city because Max refused to believe me when i said that following the M4 (East) sign would in fact get us to a place where we could go West just as easily. However, i DON’T really have a better nature and i’m not often right when it comes to directions, so i feel it should go down for posterity 😆
We did have an easy run down to Exeter, found our very nice hotel (used to be The Rougemont where apparently we once had breakfast with my parents and siblings but i don’t remember this!) and then walked through Exeter for an evening of pleasant company. Aside from my family in law, most of the people i don’t know particularly well but have been acquainted for 15 years ish. It’s kind of fascinating only seeing people once every 3 or 4 years and being a ‘supporting cast member only’ to the party, i really enjoyed the people watching, as well as the company. J&L do have a very amiable group of friends, most of whom knew Max when he was a very unpredictable bad boy and i’m still new hearing stories for the first time!!!! 😉 Was really nice to get out together in unusual (for us!) circumstances.
Tottered back to the hotel, slept well, got confused by my various gadgets, some of which alter the clock backwards themselves and some of which don’t and woke up remarkably fresh on Sunday. Managed to squeeze in a quick visit to Sarah and Steve and drove back, miraculously avoiding all traffic except for Xmas traffic right at the end, then had a lovely afternoon with The Portico’s and eventually dragged very begrudging children away from each other at the end of the day. Had a completely hellish trip home (Alison and i speculated on whether we would get the ‘everyone asleep within 5 minutes’ or the ‘whinge, whine, bicker and kick seats all the way home’ version of travelling with a car full of tired children… we got the latter 🙄 ) and it was compounded by a completely horrible M4/M25 with 4 pile ups on the side of the road with associated traffic and people driving like idiots and eventually passing a tight corner, where the A1 inexplicably goes over a woefully inadequate old style bridge, where a lorry had clearly just shed its load of steel girders/concrete blocks all over the inside lane. Made me glad we’d just spent 15 minutes at South Mimms services anyway 🙁
Ah well, it says much for the various pockets of company over the weekend that even the hell-on-a-stick journeys were worth it. And thank you again to P1 and P2 for having them 🙂
Today we took Max to work, i took the kids to work with me for a couple of hours, paid them for their patience with some craft kit samples which we brought home and they crafted happily for a good bit of the day. (If i’m honest, it wasn’t quite as harmonious as that sounds!) Various bits of normals were done, but nothing dramatic and then in the afternoon we all took a bookcase, or an area of clutter or a pile of something and between the 5 of us we managed to get rid of a lot of rubbish and rehouse plenty of things that have drifted. I sorted the kitchen, my room and the study, Maddy and Amelie did the dining room and Fran did the living room. Josie played in her room, but as that meant she didn’t make more mess anywhere else, it was considered to be helpful!