Four and a Dog

A blog about family life

14 in a House With no Wifi

Well it’s been awhile- sorry.

We’ve just got back from a holiday in Devon where Wifi was weak and free time was non-existent. However, the weather was unbelievably good, the company was wonderful and Bruiser even slept… sometimes.

My parents will be celebrating their Ruby wedding anniversary next week and decided that a holiday with the whole family would be the best way to celebrate. These days the whole family consists of two grandparents, three children and their partners, six grandchildren and a dog. On this occasion the house we were staying in did not allow dogs and so Uncle M got to go on a holiday of his own with a lovely lady who actually seems to like all his idiosyncrasies. The rest of us got to stay in a fabulous house in South Devon for a whole week.

It has been a very busy week during which Hubby had to leave and “talk to people about stars” according to Diva. What he was actually doing was attending the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester- same difference. Thankfully that was only for three days and he was back in time to help pack up and drive home.

I could write in great detail about everything we did but I’m sure you would soon become bored and switch to another channel. Instead I will regale you with some of my favourite moments of stress, hilarity and sentimentality.

It is very rare for us all to get together anymore. Everyone lives hours apart and has a multitude of responsibilities that take precedence over fun holidays in the countryside. It’s about time we all became independently wealthy so that our only responsibility was to attend village fetes, buy stuff and have a cause. Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely so we will have to settle for normal life with an occasional get together.

Amazingly we all managed very well during the week. There were the occasional disagreements but nothing that required a Jerry Springer intervention. At some time or another, everyone found that they had missed out on some vital piece of information about what was happening, but I spend a lot of my time being confused about what’s going on so am fairly used to this.

Mostly it was a fantastic opportunity to catch up and to see what wonderful little people all of our children are becoming. I only had one cousin growing up and we didn’t get to see each other very often. I love the fact that Diva and Bruiser have all these other cousins and that they all get on so well.

Or the trampoline if you want to be exact. There was one in the garden of the house and all the kids LOVED it. Usually there were four children, an adult and a whole heap of static electricity inside. Cousins I and G leapt about like crazy, performing some impressive falls and tackles. Cousin T had great fun crawling about, practising his balance and pinning the resident adult to the floor. Diva jumped a little bit and then performed a variety of elaborate falls followed by a selection of dramatic wails. These were normally the result of her cousins not doing as they were told.

On the Saturday we went to visit Crealy Adventure Park where apparently you are expected to have a, “Really, Crealy perfect day.” Diva has only been to a theme park once when she was one and there was nothing for her to do. She LOVED Crealy. It was absolutely perfect for her. There were a variety of indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a merry-go-round, animals, ice-cream, a child size village to terrorise and cars to drive. She didn’t stop talking from the second we arrived, “Wahoo! I want to go on that one, Mummy. I’m really, really excited, Daddy! Let’s do it!”

On the Sunday it was Cousin G’s 3rd birthday. There were presents and cake and picnics in the garden. Diva received some belated birthday presents too. It was a good day.

Old Friends
On the Monday we deserted the family to go and visit one of my old college friends. We haven’t seen each other in about twelve years and it was wonderful to see her and her lovely family. They have three gorgeous boys who were all very patient and kind to Diva. She thought she had died and gone to heaven with all their toys (I think Hubby did too). A perfect afternoon ended with fish & chips in a sun filled garden- bliss.

Is full of retired people, impressive buildings and pretty pebbles. I loved it.

Cot Sleeping
Not all night, but Bruiser has been sleeping in a cot. Hooray!

Easter Egg Fun
We made cards, decorated eggs and beat up a piñata egg for treats. We also had an Easter egg hunt. In the morning we got all the kids to make an Easter head band with stickers, gems, pom-poms and eggs. Aunty J and Cousin I had made baskets for everyone to fill and Aunty C went to hide a selection of treat filled eggs all around the garden.

The children all responded differently to the hunt. Cousin T went with his daddy to the far end of the garden where he could manoeuvre his wheelchair a bit better and began filling his basket as it hung around his neck. Cousin G went off, Bruce Willis style in his blue vest, crashing through undergrowth and throwing eggs in to his basket. Once he felt the area was clear, he ran off back in to the house to devour his spoils before anyone could take them off him. Cousin I was systematic and thorough. She scoured all the surrounding area and hoovered up every treat in sight. Soon her basket was quite literally overflowing. Thankfully she is also very kind and started adding eggs to all her cousins’ baskets. Diva was late starting, due to a momentary lapse in good behaviour, found one egg and announced she was done. She then proceeded to find herself a comfortable spot to sit down and eat her egg. It took a lot of persuading to get her to join back in.

Throughout the commotion Cousin A looked on with bemusement and Bruiser tried to eat his socks.

Lyme Regis
Another scorching day on Thursday so we headed to the beach. I am in love with Lyme Regis. I have always loved the beach and it would seem that Diva has very much inherited that bug. She couldn’t wait to get in the absolutely freezing water and had no issue with being covered in sand. In fact, she spent a good fifteen minutes practising comedy falls on to the sand.

When it was time to leave she flatly refused. We packed everything up, literally left the beach and she still wouldn’t come. I stood on the promenade watching her and waiting for her to realise I was no longer there. When she eventually did, there was about five seconds of wailing before she sat down in the sand and began playing again.

Grandma and Grandad
They haven’t stopped all week. They must be completely exhausted from being in such high demand. On the plus side, it must be very nice to know you’re in such high demand.

There are many other lovely things that happened but I need to go to bed now.

Thank you my lovely family for a lovely holiday.


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