Three chunks of my own personal side of the family made a rare attempt to spend leisure time together and sleep under the same roof for several nights in a row. This was achieved with surprisingly little grumpiness, despite much teasing of my poor brother for same.
We discovered that just because a cottage sleeps eight, that does not necessarily imply that there is room in the kitchen for more than one person at a time; and that some holiday cottages have better-equipped kitchens than others. This was of the well-equipped variety, meaning that everyone brought surplus pizza trays and weighing scales with them. We also majorly trebled up on the supply of onions. A number of excellent mod cons were provided, including an iPod dock which we never used because Stepdad had the TV on constantly; but no wifi and indeed no phone signal unless you were Pete. Pete occasionally and kindly provided the rest of us with a hotspot, at which moments we all clustered feverishly around him checking to see if the world was still on twitter without us, or if everyone disappears when we’re not there.
We rediscovered that The North is all about fish and chip shops (here in Berkshire, darlings, we live in a town with one pizzeria per 100 head of population), and I personally learned that Berkshire has nothing you can really call a hill, unlike the apparently deliberately named Peak District, which is challenging for a moderately competent runner.
Highlights of the week were a game of Ticket To Ride: Europe with most of the adults present getting a bit drunk and silly and having a high old time; further drinking with MikeTD and K, originally planned as “one or two, early evening;” Bernard exclaiming over the Blue John stone in Treak Cliff Cavern; Baby Pockless’ cute little dance to the song of the musical tortoise; and running to the corner shop in a torrential downpour to buy onions, because mum had hidden our stash and gone for a nap. Lowlights were leaving Bernard on Tuesday for an overnight dash back to Berkshire to work, not that I was worried about him but it was a surprisingly difficult wrench; and him being stung by a wasp in a pub garden on Thursday, which he took as a personal outrage. Concerned readers may be assured that he was fine by the time we got back to the cottage.