Friday, 23 August 2013

All's well that ends well...almost

Unlike last summer's magnificent family holiday, this summer's offering has been a series of short breaks and escapes involving various permutations of the dramatis personae of the little house on the prairie. There was the wedding in Saint Tropez which I refuse to count as a holiday because almost every moment was spoken for even before my beloved and I took off from Leeds Bradford airport. Then there was my important supportive role as companion to the lovely Louise in Portugal - well obviously, it would have been rude not to.

More recently, there was the fabulous five-day break with the singing dancing doctors and Skip and Mrs Broccoli in Majorca which number 3 and I were lucky enough to join. And then as soon as we got back, number 4 went on her coming-of-age girls-only holiday also to Majorca which was most ably supported by the singing dancing doctors who were on hand to offer air-conditioned accommodation respite (their hotel did not have it and it was 40+ degrees) and fried egg sandwiches as required. And while number 4 was gadding round the nightlife in Alcudia, my beloved went off in the van to support the fantastic Neil Jones and friends who ran - yes, ran - from Leeds to London to raise money for Cancer Research. An utterly brilliant effort and I am in awe of their achievement.

Then just a day or two with everyone - my beloved, moi, 3 and 4 plus various houseguests - before I skidoodled off to the intrepid granny's which provided a handy base for looking at universities with 3 and 4. In case you're interested ... liked Nottingham, wowed by Bath and quite liked Oxford Brookes though not for sport. We also managed to include in our three-day, all-action trip lunch with my oldest, dearest childhood chum, Alps, who has a fabby restaurant in Bath - The Circus - do go if you're ever down that way! Also met up with brother 3 and his two daughters so a bit of cousin-bonding going on, and a trip to the RSC to see All's Well that Ends Well which might almost have summed up AS level results day on Thursday. Almost...

So the beloved and I have been like the proverbial ships in the night so a brief escape was definitely in order. This took the form of a two-day break at the fabulous Low Graythwaite Hall in the Lake District, b&b and home to Basil and Sybil (or David and Manda, as they are more correctly known). David and Manda moved there some three or so years ago, leaving Harrogate and jobs behind, to try their hand at b&b-ing and very good they are at it too. So two days of walking, eating, resting, segwaying and playing games with the aforementioned plus other dear friends, Wheezy and Ebabe, before we returned home to 3 and 4, plus one lodger and now the arrival of Milton - the doggy equivalent of the late, great Tommy Cooper - who is with us for three weeks whilst his owners, number 2 child plus partner, loll about in Vietnam.

So now from this constantly transient house, I have packed number 4 off to Leeds Festival to do some music appreciation combined with camping too hideous for anyone over 30 to contemplate. She went with roughly the same set of don'ts from me as her recent holiday in Majorca - except that possibly the ones about drinking on balconies and not going jetskiing were probably unnecessary! So we are down to three residents, one lodger and three dogs. For now...

The fabulous Circus restaurant in Bath with chef Ali, my gorgeous godson Kips, manager Geoff and me and the intrepid granny!

Yes we can segway! Top fun in the Lake District with Ebabe and Wheezy.

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