Summer insects

We have said goodbye to mosquitoes and the like – though there were fewer than usual this year. But the spiders continue to try to cover my house in cobwebs and the scorpions are still hiding in places like the bathroom. A less welcome location was on the bedroom beam right above my head. John, one of my visitors of the time, enveigled it down with my long-handled anti spider web brush.

Bennion Pedley Easter visit

The Gillies and Bennion Pedleys crossed over at the airport, as Jude, Ed, Ella and Maddie arrived for their week here.

Oh boy, is this going to be the wettest holiday on record?  Jude insists there have been other wet Easters, but I cannot remember anything quite so depressingly, relentlessly grim.

The first two days were OK.  We went to market and survived a rather wet lunch in a le Vigan cafe (Ed heroically only half under cover).  And we then had a surprisingly fine(ish) Sunday, enabling us all to do the ‘circuit’ walk round the valley (me included – the longest walk for two years!) and later in the day, walked to the little river in Mars, where Ella somehow ended up cheerfully nearly knee deep in water with sodden jeans, having dangerously leapt across the rocks to discover a cave beside the river.

Today  has been challenging.  Grey skies – no black – with relentless rain.  Both parents have continued to do their daily circuit walks (yesterday they did it twice) as part of the new fitness drive – very impressive.  Ed has just taken the children off to do a supermarket shop (in lieu of a too wet walk) while Jude braves the circuit.  Even Poppy refused to go, turning back after 50 metres.

The children are very good.  They amuse themselves wonderfully most of the time, but we, the adults, are not looking forward to yet another wet day tomorrow, which is not only Jude’s birthday but my first cataract op day.

How wise the French are to fix their Easter, or spring, school holidays for the end of April.

8th April

My birthday and sadly the last day of the B-P visit.  The weather did improve so the last couple of days were really enjoyable, with walks and picnics.

Gillies’ Easter visit

What was to have been a flying visit – three full days – with dodgy weather, turned out to be longer and finer.

Kate, Steve, Otto and Willow arrived after rather a long journey on the 27th, and then – amazingly – had scarcely any rain for their visit.  And, thanks to the air traffic controllers’ strike, their flight was cancelled and we enjoyed a bonus extra day, playing beside a nearby river.

Otto and Willow (6 and 4) have reached an age when they come back with enthusiasm to known routines and favourite activities.  They slept in the main house with me, while Kate and Steve managed to fit in some good sleep catch-up time in the little house below.  The Easter egg hunt was a highlight, of course, but so was exploring the wood in one corner of my land where the sinister ‘shack’ takes on various roles, invariably with wizards, witches or space things.