After drifting around the house looking pale and wan on Friday, Oscar was back on fighting form yesterday, which was fantastic. Nobody else went a funny grey colour either, which was brilliant, and so our week of half term madness began in style.
Granny and Grandad popped in with Uncle Robber on Saturday afternoon for tea and buns. They provided the buns, I provided the tea. Fair exchange is no robbery.
They also bought a parcel for us from our wonderful friend Bronx Bee in New York. As we had already had a parcel that morning from another friend, Sharon in Australia, and Valentine’s cards from Nana in Canada we managed to amass a bumper pile of treats from all over the world. We felt very blessed.
Tilly made it home from her outward bound course, exhausted, slightly smoky, but with all limbs intact. Her favourite thing of all was doing bush craft on Saturday morning. She said: ‘Most people had to make bivouacs out of damp sticks, but we got to learn how to make fire.’
There was a scary gleam in her eye when she said this. One of Tilly’s enthusiasms is fire. Whenever we got to my parents house she has to be physically restrained from poking the fire to oblivion, stoking the fire half way up the chimney, or throwing on random items to see what will happen. The thought of her having the knowledge of how to set fires in the wild is frankly terrifying.
She told us that she learned to use a flint to make sparks and set fire to bits of lint. She said idly, drinking tea at the kitchen table: ‘I wonder if I might be allowed a flint for my birthday.’
‘No.’ Was my emphatic and unequivocal answer.
She seemed disappointed, but this lady is not for turning. Or flinting.
We spent yesterday evening with friends, stuffing our faces at Byron Burger, which is our new favourite place to eat large quantities of meat, and then coming home for pudding and gossip, while the children disappeared to play games, paint nails and amuse themselves. It is wonderful now that they are old enough to all scatter to the four winds and you do not have to worry about them setting fire to themselves (except for Tilly, obviously).
Today we were the surprise guests at my friend Nicki’s birthday lunch. We met in Warwick, at a lovely tea room right by the castle walls. We had cake stands loaded with delicious sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and slices of cake, and pots and pots of tea. It was tremendous.
In the afternoon we wandered around Warwick Castle, taking in the sights and not walking around the battlements due to being too absolutely full of cake to even contemplate climbing up the millions of stairs. The view from the battlements is usually worth the climb, it has to be said, but today we were in luck as it was very overcast and foggy, which meant that we didn’t even feel bad that we didn’t make the effort.
Back at home we fitted in some homework before taking Tilly to her friend’s house for a sleepover. This is the first of two sleepovers she will have this week, on top of excursions every day, and various evening forays for some of us. I hope I can keep track of everything, especially the tortoise. The fluctuations in house guests and children coming and going means more tortoise care for me. The poor tortoise is so confused with the constant comings and goings it is spending a lot of time digging, presumably to escape the whole lot of us.
I don’t blame her.