Today is an oasis of calm in the desert of busy

It was very odd having the grandchildren here. When they first arrived I was a bit anxious that I would feel awkward around them (no matter how much experience I have with children, I still always feel awkward around new ones) but within a couple of minutes it was fine. They’re all lovely kids – the eldest is a boy and the rest are girls, the youngest aged six. I showed them round the house, and then I was basically colonised as a playmate for the rest of the day while mum and John talked to the adults downstairs. I was impressed to see how well the four of them got along and played together – occasional slight outbreaks of bickering but mostly they negotiated well (“Can I play with the dolls house now?” “I’ll just finish what I’m doing and then you can.” “Ok.”) and helped each other.

It was only one night but it did feel like a very long time – nine people in a house that’s used to having three is quite a change, and we were constantly on the go. Yesterday we went for a walk before lunch, which was fun and great for the dog (a big hit with the children, probably more so that he would have liked, but they were very good about leaving him alone if he was in his basket). We took some photos, including one with the four children and their Auntie May – you would not believe how strange that sounds to me. Then we ate an unbelievable quantity of scrambled eggs on toast and they left. And I slept for three hours.

Today mum and John have gone out for the day, to see John’s mum, to have lunch somewhere and then to visit ten different gardens. I would have gone too if it hadn’t been ten gardens. Three, maybe, but ten is too many. Also I have to pack for tomorrow. It hasn’t quite sunk in that I’m going away for a fortnight at 10am tomorrow. Even though I’ve been looking forwards to these two weeks all summer, I’m still feeling as though it’s another week or two away. It might be better if it was too, I haven’t quite got over the bronchitis/sinus infection from whenever it was and I can’t hear out of my right ear, which could make singing fun!

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