Easter holidays

Yesterday I waved goodbye to Jude and her family after what must have been the record wettest family holiday. 

Kate’s family arrived first, when conditions were marginally better and the children enjoyed a treasure hunt, organised by Kate, as well as having a garden bonfire (Otto strumming the guitar beside it).

When Jude and family arrived the sun actually came out for a couple of days and we had a near normal Easter break. 

What gave me great pleasure was that for the first time all four children rushed round the garden, and made the swing area their own base. 

When discussing what they like about visiting Granny, Poppy of course heads the list (and Granny. of course, they say hurriedly). But now they have added ‘Granny’s huge garden’. 

We even managed to pack in a picnic at le Rieumard, the clearing beside the local river, before the weather deteriorated.

In the evenings they laid on a couple of shows (choosing the terrace outside my bedroom, currently a messy building site, as their theatre).

Jude’s family are great walkers. Willow joined them a couple of times. And Otto, whose problems can make prolonged activity particularly testing, managed one good walk too.

In respect for my family’s desire for privacy, I have just put up a few fairly anonymous photos

Early Easters are marked by two family birthdays, first Jude’s:

and then three days later, mine – in this case a milestone one reaches with very mixed feelings- 3/4 of a century. I reproduce the messages here not to massage my ego but because I am touched by the loving affection of all four children.

Here are Otto’s dramatic statement, Willow’s immaculate writing and Maddie/Mabbie’s newly acquired signature skills:

followed by Ella’s story of The Family:

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