Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A quiet few days and a Cousins' Do

I had been thinking that I might take Matt and Belinda to Hardwick Hall on Saturday afternoon to collect another long gallery. In the end, I decided that it was going to be too much, given that we were expecting a massive invasion of cousins on the Sunday who were probably going to expect to be fed.  So Matt and I went to Marsh Green in the morning for meaty things.  Then The Builder went to town and collected Tabitha, Gareth and Cally who had come with their tent for an overnight stay.  Then we had lunch. After that, Matt, Tabitha and I went to the supermarket for a big shop.  And then we walked the wetlands.  I baked cakes and started to get ready for Sunday.  It was a nice day - and especially nice to have a quiet day after the long and busy day which Friday had been.

Sunday dawned cool and grey and drizzly.  This was a bit disappointing.  We had been hoping to use the new picnic tables and the new sun umbrellas and eat outside.  I had been hoping to use the barbecue.  I realised as the morning progressed that I was getting a bit stressed.  This isn't absolutely unusual if there is a big gathering in prospect - but it's unusual when it's family who are unlikely to be particularly dismayed if food is a bit delayed.  I talked to Stella and Tony at the usual time. Then realised that my stress levels were going up and up - because I would think: "I'll just finish this then I'll go and get showered and dressed."  "Oh, there's someone in the bathroom.  Well, I'll just do this and *then* I'll go and have a shower and get dressed."  "Oh. There's someone else in the bathroom.  Well, I'll do this and THEN I'll go and have a shower and get dressed."  It was beginning to look as though I would still be in my pyjamas and dressing gown when the visitors all came!!!

Fortunately, I had managed to have a shower and get dressed before they arrived.  I had even prepared lunch!

It was a lovely afternoon.  Everyone came except Jane and Tim. Jane we had seen on Friday and Tim had been hoping to come but in the end couldn't arrange it. I had drastically under-counted the vegetarians but there was enough veggie friendly food.  There was plenty of gluten free food - the butcher at Marsh Green makes amazing gluten free sausages! And I can manage gluten free kebabs and chicken pieces.  Belinda scrubbed an absolute mountain of Jersey royal potatoes, which I oh-so-nearly forgot to put out when we served lunch :-S  We had chocolate cakes and popcorn and fudge and dried fruit and nuts and lollies for dessert and the sun came out and we got to use the barbecue and the picnic tables and the sun umbrellas.

My fun, ice cream van treat stand

Cousins having lunch
And then, all of a sudden, it was Monday and Matt, Belinda, Sage and William's last day with us.  We had a very quiet day, with a walk around the block, and packing, and lunch, and tidying and checking that nothing had been left behind.  And then they were gone.  The Builder took them to the station so they could take a train to Manchester Airport.  Their flight was at 9:30 this morning so it wasn't really practical to take them to the airport this morning. The house seemed very, very quiet after they had left.  And very empty.

I'm back at work now. And they are (apparently) flying over Eastern Europeon their way to Abu Dhabi and then home.

MBSW at the bridge in Bakewell.  Click on them to reach their photo album

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